As we worked through 1 and 2 Kings we saw many ups and downs in the situation of God’s people – linked to the way in which they were following the path He had laid out for them or going their own way. And we left them having been taken away as captives into exile, with Jerusalem destroyed and the temple looted and burned. The story isn’t over but we are going to leave it there for a while!
We’re going to pick up the story in the New Testament again looking through Paul’s letters. The last one we looked at was 1 Corinthians where Paul was trying to address a number of issues that had been raised. His next letter was to the church at Philippi and he then wrote another to Corinth and so we’re going to look at those two letters next.
Paul wrote Philippians while a prisoner but writes with a message of joy, hope and encouragement and seeks to point the believers to Jesus.
His second letter to the church at Corinth is a very personal one He reminds them again about Jesus, encourages them but also feels the need to defend himself against those who would try to undermine his work amongst them.
And then we’ll come back to the story of God’s people in the Old Testament. We’ll be working through Jeremiah, written by a prophet who lived in Jerusalem just before the exile. He speaks and writes to warn the people, he experiences deep grief and distress, he continues to speak after the city has been destroyed and the people taken into exile. A challenging and powerful book.
And we’ll then look at the five poems that comprise the book of Lamentations – speaking of the sorrow and anguish experienced after the city of Jerusalem fell and the people were taken away into captivity
But even there, there is hope in the God whose love never ends.