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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Beth Moore » Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 5

Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 5

Beth Moore - The God of Again - Part 5

I was thinking to myself a few minutes ago, when I was thinking through that beautiful passage about us again, or God's people again, that need recovery so badly, picking up those tambourines once more. And I thought about something that has gone through my mind more times than I could possibly count. For a number of years, when I was in my early 20s, I was probably 21 when I began teaching aerobics at my church, and I was 32 when God called me out of it, and it would lead to, which I didn't know at that time, it would lead to writing Bible studies, but I didn't know that.

When I was 18 years old, I felt the call of God on my life, just unmistakably, and that's its own story. But what I didn't know, because when that call came on my life, I didn't know what he was calling me to. You know, there are people that know. They will say, like, "I was called to this". I've got some friends who were called to preach, called to the mission field. All I really got a sense of in my life is I was just like called to do whatever he told me. Anybody know what I'm talking about? So, all I knew to do from that point forward was just the next thing.

Well, right after I got married, this was just late '70s, early '80s, this was the aerobics craze. And so, the women at my church, I've always been really, really involved in whatever my local body of believers, whatever God had called me to there in my local community. And so some of the women, knowing I was back from college and that this craze was happening, said, "Beth, you need to teach us an aerobics class". I said, "Well, I don't think I can do that, because I promised the Lord that whatever I did, I would do as ministry, and I don't know how I would do that as ministry". Well, they're just like, "Well, you need to pray about it".

Well, I did. And I thought, okay, well, one way would be if I used all Christian contemporary music, and we sort of made it worship. We sang our hearts out. We sang every one of the songs. We just, we had the best time of our lives. And so, we would have like a grapevine. Whatever we were doing, jumping jacks, whatever it would be, we did it together, except for one particular woman, who had what seemed to be a total extra dose of the Spirit. Anybody know what I'm talking about? Because it just was like you did not know when the move of the Spirit was going to come. It just came when it wanted to. And so, years went by. She was in my class for years. When I gave up that class, I mean I was devastated. And the Lord didn't tell me what I would be going to. He just led me through his Word to know I was going to be releasing that to do it, whatever it was.

By this time, I was teaching women's Sunday school. I had already begun long before now teaching and speaking at conferences, but I didn't want to let go of this class, because I loved it so much. So, I had to say goodbye very, very tearfully, all of us did, and then years went by, and I was speaking in Houston one night at my church. At that time, I was going to a big, big, big campus at Houston's First Baptist Church, and a large sanctuary. And I had noticed her in the group. And I'd not seen her in years. And my heart was just broken, because I could tell she'd lost her dance. And I thought, "What happened"? Well, after it was over, I could hang around some in those days and just for whoever was going to come up to talk or for prayer.

And so I hung out after class was over that night, and I had like, you know, five or six women, and then she was like the seventh down. And I even was so mindful seeing her. She was in that line to talk to me. I was so mindful of seeing her that I was trying to kind of like hurry, so I could get down to her. So, I was greeting, hugging. We could do all that in that day. And working my way down that line. And when she got up to me, before she could say a word, and the tears were just streaming down her cheek, I got hold of her shoulders. I went, "You lost your dance. You lost your dance". She said, "I did. I did". You know, life had just been mean. You know how it gets? But she'd not lost the Holy Spirit, but she just had to find her place back in that joy again.

Now, I don't know, that may be somebody here that, man, you've known that. Maybe you didn't twirl all around a dance class, but you've known what it's like even to be a little peculiar to your friends. And, you know, sometimes blending in is just overrated. We don't cause a distraction. We don't draw attention to ourselves. But if you've been one who's been expressive about your love for Christ and your faith, how he saved you and set you free, you get to get your dance back. There is a quote I want you to take down. It's so beautiful. It's by a scholar named Kathleen M. O'Connor, and it's in her commentary on Jeremiah called "Pain and Promise". "Hope in Jeremiah is not optimism, but unbidden, unexpected revelation of divine love".

Biblical hope is not just optimism. It has got full expectancy. It may not know when, but it knows for sure what, and it know for sure who, because it takes God at his Word. So, what I pray it is not just that we've gotten a shot of optimism, but that we have encountered this unbidden, unexpected revelation of a God who doesn't just love us again. He came to remind us that he loved us throughout eternity. We have two last points to make today; and, obviously, we're going to make them pretty quick.

So, we've got first of all, number one: Nothing is more breathtaking than a divine "again" after a disastrous "again". Can anybody in the house say amen to that? And that no discovery is less expected than favor in the wilderness. I've been thrown into a wilderness. I've gone with a group into a wilderness, but I've also just like run into my own wilderness. Has anybody done that besides me? And there he would still meet me with his grace, like he's met you. Number three, no burning down is so complete God cannot build again. And then, lastly, I want you to look, before we'll work up to point four, but I want you to notice something happening here in 32:1-2. "This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar".

Now, Nebuchadnezzar, you know that we're in the Babylonian empire at this point. So, by this time, it's full on in, because Jeremiah, his ministry began before the exile ever took place, before the captivity ever took place, before Babylon was ever in control, while they were still thinking Assyrians, he's already saying, "Oh, it's going to be these that are going to come for us". Well, they, of course, thought he was nuts, absolutely nuts, because they could not see any sign of it until it happened. So, he already was full on into his ministry, and it overlaps with the time that Nebuchadnezzar has now come through his army to overtake Jerusalem. And it says, "At that time," I'm in verse 2, "the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and the prophet Jeremiah was imprisoned in the guard's courtyard in the palace of the king of Judah".

I want you to see something with me, because this is a really crazy thing that happens here. I'm gonna have you look down to verse 6, but keep in mind with me that he is jailed at this point. He is with the final king. He has served under the rule in Judah of three different kings, and this is the final one. And it says, I want you to drop down to verse 6, and I'm going to read through 16. It says this, "Jeremiah replied, 'The word of the Lord came to me. Watch! Hanamel, the son of your uncle Shallum, is coming to you to say, Buy my field in Anothoth for yourself, for you own the right of redemption to buy it.' Then as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to the guard's courtyard and urged me, 'Please buy my field in Anothoth in the land of Benjamin, for you own the right of inheritance and redemption. Buy it for yourself.' Then I knew this was the word of the Lord".

I want to pause here for just a second, because this is important. So, he is telling us that the Lord put the word on his heart. "Your cousin is about to come to you, and he's going to offer you his piece of land". Now, at this point, this is about Anothoth is about 3 miles from Jerusalem. It's his own little community, and it is where Jeremiah is from. Now, the likelihood, because at this point the city of Jerusalem is already besieged. In other words, the Babylonian army is all around them. They are surrounding them. They just have not come over and destroyed the wall, yet, and taken down the temple, but they are going to. It is very shortly going to happen. Then his cousin came, said, "'Buy it for yourself.' Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord".

This is so important. It's so important, because he's saying, you know, "This is what I understood. And then when it happened, I knew, I knew this had to be a word from the Lord. So, I bought the field in Anothoth from my cousin Hanamel, and I weighed out the silver to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I recorded it on a scroll", stay with me, because this is fascinating, "sealed it, called in witnesses, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the purchase agreement and the sealed copy with its terms and conditions and the open copy, and I gave the purchase agreement to Baruch son of Neriah, son of Mahseiah. I did this in the sight of my cousin Hanamel, the witnesses who had signed the purchase agreement, and all the Judeans sitting in the guard's courtyard. I charged Baruch in their sight. This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Take these scrolls (this purchase agreement with the sealed copy and this open copy) and put them in an earthen storage jar so that it will last a long time. For this is what the Lord God of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields, and vineyards will again be bought in this land".

Don't miss that. "And after I had given the purchase agreement to Baruch, the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord: 'Oh, Lord God! You yourself made the heavens and earth by your great power and with your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you!'" He goes on in prayer, and then the Word of the Lord answers him in 26. This is the last part I want you to see for this point. "The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 'Look, I am the Lord your God over every creature. Is anything too difficult for me?'" So, Jeremiah says, "Is anything too difficult for you"? He goes, "Is anything too difficult for me"? So, what in the world is going on here with the purchase of this land?

So, what in the world is going on here with the purchase of this land? In all likelihood, his cousin is running to him to see if he will buy the land, because it is about to become worthless. In his sight, in his imagination, why would you need any land? "This land is about to be destroyed. It is being parched. It is being razed to the ground. This is useless and worthless. So, I'm going to run to my cousin Jeremiah. And since he's inside the city", and I mean the guy's in jail, "And I'm going to see if he will then purchase the land". Well, the Lord's already warned him. "Your cousin is going to come. He's going to offer you this land, and you're to buy it. And you're going to have all these witnesses around you, and you're going to sign all the papers, and then you're to put them in an earthen jar. You are to seal it, and then it is to be kept for a long time".

Do you know why? Because he was teaching Jeremiah, "No better investment can be made than in God's promises". You know, it's a really crazy thing, because he had been, I'm talking about Jeremiah, had been nearly thrown out of Anothoth. You can imagine how ashamed his own people were of him, because he just kept being the bearer of bad news. Now, I mean, he gave a lot of good news, but nobody could hear it. All they could hear is the bad news. It was like, "You just keep saying that we're going to be overtaken, and nobody overtakes the people of God". Well, they had already had the whole northern kingdom taken captive by the Assyrian empire. "What do you mean"? And it would be empire after empire, after empire. Because God would say to them over and over again, "I'm going to tell you something. I will never stop loving you. I love you with an everlasting love. But if you go after other gods, I will allow them to take you captive, so that you can see I am the only God for you. I am the only God for you".

So, here, Jeremiah is investing in this property, and I want you to understand something. It is completely, he makes this investment, has all the papers signed, all that put in an earthen jar so it will last. That area is completely overtaken by the Babylonians. It is not resettled until after the exiles come back 70 years later. And Jeremiah himself is not ever going to see all of the end result of that, but he knew the promise was sure. Even if he never saw it, he knew the promise was sure, because God would resettle the land, because God had promised that he would. I say that to you because we might think, "Well, what a waste. What a waste". I mean, he should've been the one to get to come back and, you know, crack it open, all of those things. Are you kidding? He would've gotten to see his maker when the time came for his life to be over. And one outrageous thing about the Lord that just absolutely blows my mind every time I think about it. It blows my mind.

Hebrews 11:6 says that, "Those who come to him must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him". Your God does not hesitate to tell you that he will reward your faith. He does not even hesitate. Do not think for a moment if you died and did not see that promise come to pass that you believed in his Word, your life is just beginning when it is over here. We don't begin to know the reward that is waiting for us, because we chose to believe God over our circumstances. And I'm going to tell you something. You've got all these things that you can see with your eyes, touch with the tips of your fingers; but right here in the Word of God, it's just full of promises, and God will keep every single last one of them.

The best investment you can ever make with your life, the best investment I can ever make with my life would be in the promises of God. I will bet my life on this: my God will be faithful. I say it over and over again, my staff and I say this to one another. If I'm going to err, let me err on the side of faith. Let me err on the side of faith. In other words, I want to go out believing God with everything I've got. And if I was wrong to pray with that much faith about that particular thing, then at least I will go, "You know what? I actually... you went the wrong way in that, but I'm gonna tell you something. I can still bless your faith, because it came out of faith". You'll never make a better investment in your life.

And then, lastly, I want you to see Jeremiah 36. Somebody came all this time, and you're thinking, "You know, I still don't have my word". Well, maybe you're about to get it. Maybe it's the very last word we get, the very last word we get. I love this word. I love this word. This so spoke to me. Jeremiah 36, I want to read verses 1 through 8. "In the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah, the word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Take a scroll and write on it all the words I have spoken to you concerning Israel, Judah, and all the nations from the time I first spoke to you during Josiah's reign until today.'"

Verse 3, "'Perhaps when the house of Judah hears about all the disaster I'm planning to bring on them, each one of them will turn from his evil way. Then I will forgive their iniquity and their sin.' So, Jeremiah summoned Baruch son of Neriah. At Jeremiah's dictation, Baruch wrote on a scroll all the words the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah. Then Jeremiah commanded Baruch, 'I am restricted. I can't enter the temple of the Lord, so you must go and read from the scroll, which you wrote at my dictation, the words the Lord has said in the hearing of the people at the temple of the Lord on the day of fasting. Read his words in the hearing of all the Judeans who were coming from their cities. Perhaps their petition will come before the Lord, and each one will turn from his evil way, for the anger and fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people are intense.' So Baruch son of Neriah did everything the prophet Jeremiah had commanded him. At the Lord's temple he read the Lord's words from the scroll".

So, here's what happens. He takes the scroll. He reads the scroll, and it tells us then, if you will look further in it, it tells us then that the king, if you'll look further in the narrative, that the king hears it, and when he hears it, he tears it up and throws it into the fire. So, every bit of that scroll that they have written down, it's torn up. And this is in verse 24. Verse 23, it's consumed by the fire in the hearth, and then they're told not to do it again. Well, you know exactly what happens. "After the king had burned the scroll," I'm in verse 27, "and the words Baruch had written at Jeremiah's dictation, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 'Take another scroll and once again...'"

Would everybody say "Once again"? "Once again, write on it the original words that were on the original scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. You are to proclaim concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah, 'This is what the Lord says: You have burned the scroll, asking, Why have you written on it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land and cause it to be without people or animals? Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning King Jehoiakim of Judah: He will have no one to sit on David's throne. His corpse will be thrown out to be exposed to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. I will punish him, his descendants, and his officers for their iniquity. I will bring on them, on the residents of Jerusalem, and the people of Judah all the disaster, that I warned them about because they did not listen".

Look again, verse 32, "Then Jeremiah took another scroll..." where have I said another scroll? "...and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe, and he wrote it at Jeremiah's dictation all of the words of the scroll that Jehoiakim, Judah's king, had burned in the fire". So, hang with me here, because they have to do the whole thing again, and it's been intense, and it's been long. Baruch would've gotten at the end of it. Jeremiah would've gotten the end. It's like, "Whoa". Takes it, reads it. The king takes it, has it torn to shreds and throws it in the fire. God goes, "Go do it again". I don't know if I just have a weird sense of humor, but the next verse just kills me.

The next verse says, "And many other words like them were added". Is that funny to anybody but me? Because it's like, "Oh, well, since you tore up those other ones, you know what? A few other things have occurred to me here. So, let me just add a few words to it while we're at it". So, I even think of Jeremiah and Baruch's faces when he goes, "A few more things I have to tell you". Goes back again. I want you to take this down, because, man, we need to know it when we leave.

Number five and lastly is this: don't be surprised if the God of again calls you to do it again. "But, Lord, I already did that before. That was a lot of work". "Do it again". "Lord, I've already put every bit of the effort. I mean, honestly..." "Do it again". Can you imagine what a waste of time Jeremiah and Baruch must have thought all of that was? Why in the world would they have to do it all again? Why would it just be like left in the fire and that is lost, and then that's just all there is to it, and then the king just bears the penalty of it.

Why, why, why, why, why? Well, I just want you to stare at that page in your Bible. Because what book are you in right now? Somebody tell me. What book of the Bible are we in right now? Well, well, well. That's why they did it again, because in your Bible is a book called Jeremiah that was preserved for all eternity, because the Word of the Lord is sure.

Was it worth, again? Oh, you'd better believe it. I want you to stand to your feet. We have to be people of endurance. We have to be people of endurance. The world is probably not going to get a lot better. But what we're going to have to do is get a little bolder in our love and our faith, where we're not so wimpy to have a breakdown over every little thing that goes wrong. We need some iron in our blood, and we need some calcium in our bones, because this is not an easy world we've been entrusted to, and we have a God of again. And very often, he calls upon his servants to do it again. "Lord, last time I taught that class, it did not do any good". "Do it again. And it will bear fruit that will last".
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