Jeremiah 33, September 24th 2023

Jeremiah 33, September 24th 2023

Jeremiah 33:1-3, 14-16 (Sept 24th).

Revelation 16:10-17:18

John 15:1-15.

Lord, open our minds to your word, warm our hearts with your voice, shape our lives to reflect your Son’s.  Amen.

God speaks.

‘’While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him a second time.’’

Jeremiah 32, which Harry preached on last week reminded us that these are dark days for Jeremiah and Judah.

I think it is important to give people the opportunity to use their gifts – when I look back, part of my journey will be people who offered me to chance to share, to preach, when I was not a completed trained individual but a work in progress and as scripture reminds us, if we are gifted, the Lord calls on us not to have our gifts kept in a box, but to fanned into flame –

and as the Word reminds us, all of us are gifted, so part of my role is to encourage gifts being used, fanned into flame… 

however  it is very important to have a suitable balance between how much I am preaching and how much others do… and it has been awhile since I have had a regular pattern of preaching…

Back to Jeremiah 32. It gives us the time. It is 10th year of Zedekiah. Jerusalem will fall in the 11th year. And the city has been under siege since the 9th year. Surrounded.

Gandalf by Balin’s tomb reads the Book. ‘’We have barred the gates, but cannot hold them for long. The ground shakes… We cannot get out. ‘’

No one gets out of Jeruasalem now.

Jeremiah himself is ‘ still confined’ = he is in jail. He has faithfully followed the Lord. Yet due to the injustice, sins of others, he is in jail. He is in a dark place due to others, despite his faithful obedience.

And into that dark space, God speaks: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’  14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.

God speaks not only in the light but in the dark, and that is so encouraging that his voice can be heard not only in the times of joy but in the times of suffering.

In Revelation 16 we see the same. The bowls of wrath are being poured out – on the Satanic kingdom and those who are devoted to it – on land, on sea, on water, on the sun, on the throne, on the River Euphrates, which leads to demonic powers gathering the kings of the world – so the whole planet –for the last great battle – Armageddon. It is pretty awful stuff. Very hard times for the Christians. And yet suddenly, the voice of Jesus: Behold I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays away and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.’’  Promise he is coming. Blessed are those who remain faithful is what the message is. Jesus words come in such horrible times, reminding them of what he has said, and he builds, strengths, comforts.

How does God speak – a reminder of 5 ways: all beginning with CS.

1.Commanding Scripture – the primary way God speaks to us and the test for all other ways we feel God is speaking. He has spoken and he speaks today. His word is not just historical text and interesting to read. They are directive, guiding, life giving for today.

2.Compelling Spirit – the Spirit who lives with us, who speaks to our spirits, speaks – through perhaps visions, an image, a phrase in mind, a name of someone to visit or invite to Alpha, prophecy, a dream – in various supernatural means. Jeremiah knows the word and yet God speaks to him directly.

3. Circumstantial Signs – when events, situations point in a certain direction. We can call it random – or is it in fact the Lord speaking  – a door closing, a window opening etc.

4. Common Sense – God has wonderfully given us a brain and common sense and invites us to use it – as we weigh things, as we consider, we see a path, he is speaking…

5. Counsel of the Saints – we are each saints – through Christ – God can guide, speak through other Christians as we talk, perhaps consult with them.  That is just one role of council – as each of us bring an idea, an issue, God can speak through the others in the table.

God speaking. It may be one, often it is more than one and on significant decisions, it is likely to be more than one or two of those above…

In this difficult time, God speaks to Jeremiah. He gives hope. He builds strengthens, comforts. Israel will fall but it will be restored.

What does God speak about? The Promise.

15 “‘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.
16 In those days Judah will be saved
    and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it[c] will be called:
    The Lord is our Righteousness.’

The promise. We heard it before in Jeremiah 23. Jeremiah is reminded.

In those days I will make. When all is lost, I will make – the God who can do great and unsearchable things. It will happen.

From David’s line. Zedekiah is the last king before exile. Jeremiah knows that. Yet promise. There will be another. The line of David may look like a tree falling or dead, yet a branch will shoot.

Who is he? Someone righteous. He will do what is just and right. Another translation says ‘he will execute justice and righteousness in the land.’’ Jeremiah had been born in the years of the last ‘righteous king’ Josiah. Since then unrighteousness and injustice was the lifestyle of king. 

The Promise. The Messiah – God’s promised king – will be unlike any previous descendants of David. He would be an ideal king. He would have the finest qualities – executing justice, righteousness, and ruling wisely.



Let’s look again.

16 In those days Judah will be saved  and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it[c] will be called: The Lord is our Righteousness.’

In Jer 23, the Messiah is called ‘the Lord is our Righteousness’. Here the city, the people, will be called ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’’ ‘’The King will make his people righteous by being their savior.’’ (South Asian Bible Commentary).

My question to you. Are you righteous? As you sit here?

Phil 3:9-10 I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

This tells me. Righteousness is not based on the law – as we will all fall short.

Paul says, we can have a righteousness of our own.

How – through good works. No.

Through faith in Christ.

He repeats it ‘the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.’’

Faith in Christ. Christ is your righteousness. CHRIST IS YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

If you have faith in Christ, you are righteous in his eyes. Point out.

How are you righteous? Paul in 2 Cor 5: God made him who had no sin to be sin[a] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Through the death of Jesus, through the cross, you become righteous.

So Jeremiah 33 words from the Lord, we can take up that shout. The LORD Is our righteousness.

The LORD is our righteousness.

That is our identity. So key we get this.

It fuels our praise – the LORD is our righteousness.

It gives us encouragement when we wonder if God is against us – the LORD is our righteousness.

When we think of how it is all going wrong for us as a Christian – the LORD – not the law – the LORD is our righteousness.

If you are struggling with this, I do want to say, perhaps joining Alpha for the first 4 talks will be a great help for you, to get refreshed in that truth, to soak in it again.


Recap. The King will – execute justice and righteousness. He will do that. V15.

How is the king described – Branch. That draws in ideas from Isaiah 11. And later in Zech 3, my servant the branch.

The King, the Branch.The righteous branch will execute justice and righteousness.

Who also is a branch? Well, you and me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’

What can fruit look like? We are called to abide, to stay close to Christ, through prayer, worship, relationship as we do so fruit will happen.

What kind of fruit?

Through Christ you are a ‘righteous branch.’

I am a branch.

Jesus is described as a righteous branch who will execute justice and righteousness or as the NIV put it, he will do just and right in the land.

Am I following the BRANCH as a branch.

So in my life, my work, do I do justice and righteousness?

We often want justice done to us. But can we be an instrument, an agent of justice towards others? What could that look like? Is that speaking out for those who are weak, struggling, with no voice?

What does righteousness look like in your work – this is more than thinking and being holy… doing righteousness, is how it affects others.  Perhaps Jesus, as always is the place to start –  the righteous branch who showed us what it meant to do right in the land…


God speaks in the dark times and in the fun times.

The LORD is your righteousness – your identity

As a righteous branch, follow the example of THE Branch and do just and right…

To think each day.

What will it mean to do justice today? What will it mean to do righteousness today? To ask that question each day…

 Lord help me to do just and right in the land this week… and imitate the righteousness branch…