The Creation Mandate in Exile
May 15, 2016 Speaker: Cameron Barham Series: How We Are Designed to Live: The Work - Sabbath Balance
Scripture: Jeremiah 29:1–29:14
Key Truth: Our vocational calling remains the same in every circumstance because God is faithful to fulfill His redemptive promises in and through us.
Q: What impact should our circumstances have on our vocational calling?
The What: The Creation Mandate in Exile
“In Jeremiah’s letter to the Babylonian exiles, he is reminding them of the “Cultural Mandate.” He tells them to, “Build houses and settle down, plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.” In other words, to be fruitful and multiply, fill this part of the world to which (God) has brought them with His images. Second, He tells them to, “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.” This is what taking dominion should look like for exiles. For them taking dominion is reweaving Shalom. Jeremiah has given us a big picture of not only what the exiles vocational calling looked like but ours as well.”
Hugh Welchel, How Then Should We Work:Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work
Q: Are their ways in which your religious practices have become self-serving? Do you recognize God’s grace in calling you to repent of self-serving practices and calling you to the greater freedom of obedience in faith to His promises?
The Warning: The Promise of False Prophets:
“The concern of the text is not a theoretical one about the nature of prophecy. The concern is a quite practical one, concerning the seduction of religious fantasy. The threat to the Jews is that they will be talked out of the reality of exile, invited to deny the real place where they must live their faith.”
Walter Brueggemann, A Commentary on Jeremiah: Exile and Homecoming
Q: Are you ever tempted to believe in cheap grace or easy believe-ism to avoid the pain of sanctification?
The Why: The Redemptive Plans of the Lord:
“…it was a proof of obedience when they acknowledged that they were chastised by God’s hand, and thus became willingly submissive to the end of the seventy years. But their hope,…, was to remain in suspense, in order that they might so pass their time as to bear their exile in such a way as to please God; for there was a sure hope of return, provided they look forward, according to God’s will, to the end of the seventy years.”
John Calvin, Commentary on Jeremiah
Q: What are the plans that God has for us? What is our future and hope?
Jeremiah 29:1-14 teaches us that:
-the vocational calling of God’s people continues even in exile and is a blessing
-false prophets will tempt us with comfort and ease instead of sanctification for holiness
-God’s faithfulness to fulfill His redemptive promises are why we live the way we live
“When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers (and sisters), be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:54-58