From Broken Buckets to God’s Best Blessings

A sermon idea based on Jeremiah 2:4-13.

Jeremiah 2:4-13 NRSV

[4] Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. [5] Thus says the LORD: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves? [6] They did not say, “Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?” [7] I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination. [8] The priests did not say, “Where is the LORD?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.

[9] Therefore once more I accuse you, says the LORD, and I accuse your children’s children. [10] Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing. [11] Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit. [12] Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD, [13] for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.

Angle

The relevant topic I would be addressing, based on this text…

God freely offers the best of himself to us in the form of his presence and blessing, but we must choose him over other empty pursuits.

Anchor

Information about the text that matters to the message…

Jeremiah opens his prophecy by announcing the charges God is bringing against the nation. And the charge in this passage is essentially…

I’ve offered you my very best,
I’ve offered you myself,
but you’ve chased empty pursuits instead.

And isn’t that the story for all of us?

We were created in God’s image to enjoy this beautiful world in close fellowship with its Creator, but we’ve all pursued a thousand other disappointing sources of our deepest needs and longings. Such as:

  • purpose – we look for life’s meaning in self-actualization rather than a relationship with God
  • pleasure – we accept the temporary highs of substances, sexual promiscuity, consumerism, etc.
  • power – we clamor to be in control of life and of other people
  • security – we try to nail down an airtight future without trusting God as our provider
  • significance – we try to matter to the world before knowing we already matter to God

For those of us living on this side of the cross and resurrection of Jesus, we can understand and know that God’s invitation to enjoy his creation in his constant presence is always open to us.

Application

The big call-to-action in the message…

Turn toward God and openly receive him into your life on a daily basis to discover that nothing else satisfies the needs and longings of your soul the way his overflowing presence does.

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About the Cover Art: Pymonenko, Mykola. Waiting for the Blessing, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.