Christmas - Hope - Day 5

Opening Prayer: 

Dear Lord, help us to remember that you are Immanuel, God with us as we face tough situations that often arise at this season of the year.  Remind us that you are with us no matter what happens to us today, tomorrow and always.  In Your name, amen.

Read: Jeremiah 33:14-18 NIV

 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.  ‘In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior. For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of Israel, nor will the Levitical priests ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices.’”

 

Reflect: 

 This passage of Scripture was written when things were going sour for Judah in about 600 BC.  Israel had already fallen to Babylon and Egypt one of their closest allies had fallen.  The Judeans were no longer looking to God for their leading but turned to other gods as their source of strength.  It was fast becoming a bleak time for them.  Jeremiah was not the most popular prophet they had because he would not tell them what they wanted to hear.  They wanted someone who was going to give them some small strand of hope but all they got from him was discouragement.  He was not known as the “weeping prophet” for nothing.

 Many of them assumed they were on the verge of the root of David being buried and wiped out.   I can imagine they felt that God had deserted them and the earlier promises to Abraham were not going to be fulfilled.  With Israel already gone and now they were on the verge of extinction, it doesn’t look good.

In these verses the Judeans are given the news they need to give them a glimmer of hope for the future.  God is going to make a righteous Branch come from the root of Jesse.  GOD has made it clear that there will always be a descendant of David ruling the people of Israel and that there will always be Levitical priests on hand to offer burnt offerings.” The Life Application Bible explains these verses this way: “As Christ fulfills the role of King, he also fulfills the role of Priest, maintaining constant fellowship with God and mediating for the people. This verse does not mean that actual priests will perform sacrifices, for sacrifices will no longer be necessary (Hebrews 10:4, 11, 12). Now that Christ is our High Priest, all believers are priests of God…” God had not forgotten His promise to them.  They can have hope. 

 

Apply:  

For many people the Christmas season is not a happy, joyous occasion.  The first Christmas without a loved one is difficult.  We also see suicides, depression, family feuds and many other difficulties make it a pretty bleak time for some. This Scriptures reminds that God keeps His promises and has provided us with a King, Mediator, and Priest to intercede for us.  Not only has He provided all these things, Jesus reminds us in John 14-16 that He has left us a Comforter and Guide in the Holy Spirit.  When things look hopeless, we need to turn to the One who is with us always.  Interestingly, the Gospel of Matthew has “bookends” reminding us we are never alone with Jesus as our Lord.

 

Matthew 1:23 says ----------------------------- Matthew 28:20 says

“Immanuel”                                                  “…surely I am with

Means “God with us”                                  you always, to the

                                                                    Very end of the age.”

 

Closing Prayer: 

We praise You, Lord Jesus, “Immanuel,” that you are with us now and forever.  In Your Holy Name, Amen

Today’s Family Christmas Calendar Activity:

Talk as a family: if you were one of the Wise Men, what gift would you bring to Jesus?

Pick up a calendar at your campus. Learn more at ChristmasAtPathway.com

Terry Schneider