Advent: a clash of alternate realities concerning good will toward men in Jeremiah

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Advent: a clash of alternate realities concerning good will toward men seen in Jeremiah

Two visions of good will toward men
Two visions of plans God has for you
Two views both insisting they are changes you can believe in
One not involving a change of heart, one involving and requiring new hearts
One from the imagination of man, one from God

Nebuchadnezzar happened
Some people carried away to Babylon
Some left behind in Jerusalem
Strong views of coping with the crisis inevitable

Two views about two groups offered
A clash of claims of alternate realities in the future
Both longing for peace
Both desiring well being
One appeals to the anything goes crowd and a broad path, one a narrow path
One appealing to the immediate gratification crowd, one concerns a long view

Jeremiah first
His name means 'YAHWEH has uplifted' and he will be a bit disruptive
A disruptive vision of two baskets of figs
One good. One bad., inedible, really bad, vile. Good one uplifted by Yahweh and carried off to Babylon.
A counter intuitive view offered.
'Good figs' have been taken far from home, but their grand kids will return much later. Their blessings will become legend among nations.
'Bad figs' safe for the moment. Their trouble will be legend among the nations
So said Jeremiah with his unpopular disruptive message
Serve the king of Babylon and live. Stay and die. Unpopular message.
And oh by the way, all the fancy stuff from the temple will be carried away to Babylon
Will come back seventy years later

Hannaniah next
His name means God is gracious and his words sound like grace to most
You are so wrong Jeremiah
Your best life now ! Sooner rather than later.
God will break the yoke of Nebachadnessar in two years.
All captives will return. Mark my words. Give it two years.
With a bit of drama Hannaniah breaks a wooden yoke and makes a declaration of independence from Babylon
A sweet sounding future and a striking a popular cord of hope. A promise of goodness and peace.

Visions collide; showdown ensues
Jeremiah raises the stakes
Wooden yoke will become iron. A yoke only God could break and will.
Moses test that a true prophet’s claims will come true invoked
Hannaniah gives two years till the end of Nebuchadnezar
Jeremiah gives this year till the end of Hannaniah
Stakes raised. Stakes high

Hananiah becomes a footnote to history.
And a backdrop for the end of the prophesy of Jeremiah
Hananiah exits stage left.

Take a letter Baruch.
God will witness what he knows
To the exiles in Babylon: the exiles, princes, queen mother, the eunuchs, the craftsmen, the priests, all the people carried to Babylon
The ones who will not be returning in a mere two years. It will be seventy years
And yes you worships gods of an alternative reality as if real
And yes you sacrificed even your children to them
and you were by comparison poetically 'the good figs'
don't take good in a wooden literal sense
At the end of your rope, helpless, I will save you
And God assures them of something He knows
“I know the plans I have for you, plans of welfare and not of calamity
To give you a future and a hope”
In fact work for the welfare of the city you’re at
You’ll be there a while.
God will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar
But in seventy year your grand kids will be coming back.
Seventy Sabbath years were left wanting and the land will get its seventy year rest owed.
Seventy times sevens years of sin will be atoned for by the land
Letter self generalises, applying beyond Babylon
'In any place, wherever the Lord sends you'
“The people surviving the sword found grace in the wilderness”
A consolation to Israel. A Hope for the nations.
Things will go well for you taken to Babylon.
Things will not go well for those left behind.
This I know. I am witness says the Lord

Side note to reader from Daniel. And when that's done in another seventy time seven years a redemption of the world

Take another letter Baruch
To Shemmaiah, ( holder of the alternate reality view of Hannaniah, Shemaiah meaning something like 'listen up' )
If you really think that way, why haven't you arrested Jeremiah?
end of letter

Letter reading interrupted ..... and while the letter was being read to Shemaiah in the presence of Jeremiah,
the word of the Lord ( too often not Shemaiah-ed enough ) came to Jeremiah
send another letter to those in Babylon explaining all of Shemaiah's people will die and never see the coming good
Lesson conveyed: don't be an impediment for others to Shamaaiah the word of the Lord.

A challenge.
If you can break my agreement with the sun or moon (stars and ocean) ,
Then my words won't happen.
If you can measure heaven or search out the depths of the earth
Then my words won't happen.

“A voice was heard in Rammah. Lamentations and bitter weeping. Rachel weeping for her children” carried away to Babylon
They refuse to be comforted because their children are no more
But comfort will come
An advent of hope of return
An advent of a hope of a new covenant where laws are written on hearts returned to God
A siege of Jerusalem
A wailing echo's accross centuries from David's city
“Voices heard in Bethlehem. Lamentations and bitter Rachel the morther of Judah, weeping. weeping for her children”
They refuse to be comforted because their children are no more
But comfort will come

He who scatters them will gather them.
They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more.

Jeremiah the unpopular jailed
Amazing the great and mighty things which come out of prisons
Just as by weeping the book was opened
Just as by prayer Daniel was shown a vision
Call to me and I will show you great and mighty things
Things of peace not from your imagination but beyond your imagination

And abruptly, God sends Jeremiah’s cousin with a real estate deal of some urgency.
"Redeem my land!"

Take another letter, Baruch.
Use the standard real estate deal template
Document terms of said deal Describe contract cut.
Expect bull market on real estate in the promised land in seventy years.
List witnesses. Date it. Seal the deal
Bury the deed in a time capsule.
The land will be redeemed.

Jeremiah's words will be a time capsule for even farther in the future.
And an advent of a new covenant where hope were God will not just do you some good, but never turn from doing you good, where because of the fear of God he puts in you, you will not turn from following Him
If Jeremiah 29:11 might wet ones appetite and raise one's longing for God doing some good in their lived,
Jeremiah 32:40 more than satisfies the longing the longing. Not some good but never anything but good. More clear who the promises apply, those in the New Covenant
A Romans 8:28 promise from the depth of Jeremiah's prison
Out of the depth, crying out to both now and future hearers.

And in largest of type. David become a type of a future ruler
"But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them
God speaks in types for people and places and times and even makes that hard to miss here

Hannaniah long gone… Jeremiah still imprisoned…
And still jailed, Jeremiah gives the end of the prophesy of his book
Amazing the great and mighty things which come out of prisons
Promise of a new covenant
Promise to be told ‘great and mighty things which you do not know’, from prison
A yearning from the heart of God
Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him;
An advent of a promise of the Lord being the righteousness of those in the city of God

Challenge accentuated
If you can break my agreement with the sun or moon (or stars or sea),
Then this won't happen.
You can't break my agreement with the sun or moon to shine but God can
Night became like day as angels announced his birth
Day became like night when he died.
Wind and waves obey him ( and if that's not enough WOW, he Walks On Water)
Normally invariant stars led to his house, not another's
Challenge meets reality

Hannaniah’s vision of the future dims, now past expiration, popular though it may have once been
Jeremiah’s vision brightens, advent of a future grace, unpopular as it may have been in his day

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. Luke 2

Yes there were. And hark how all the welken rings
Angel armies advent sing Jeremiah's vision of peace on earth, good will to men

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks.In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord. Jer 33

As Jeremiah said, when the righteous branch comes, there will be shepherds in the land.
Yes there were. A shepherd search party confirmed the righteous branch, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in an animal feeding trough.

"In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness."
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