Chapter 4 “Prophetic Energizing and the Emergence of Amazement” pp. 59-79
Jeremiah’s work pointed out the futility of life under the status quo. He confronted a nation which had stripped its people of hope. Yet, counter to our expectations, Jeremiah gives little hope. He rather brings people to realize their hopelessness. The royal establishment desired to make promises but they were not open to change or vision. These promises would finally lead to despair. Yet jeremiah’s role was to awaken old memories, memories of freedom, in the people. In their memory of the past, the people of Israel could find desire and hope for the future. They could gradually be redirected toward new vision rooted in God’s faithfulness.
To find a prophet of hope and wonder at future conditions we turn our attention to Isaiah, or, as Brueggemann asserts, “second Isaiah.” Beginning in chapter 40 we read the message of comfort and hope, rooted in God’s care for and restoration of his people. This message reclaims the hopes and imagination of Israel. They see God’s mercy and the hopelessness of their world. They learn to rejoice in God. Their hope is re-born. They are fed with the imperishable food of heaven. The new hope is born to bear much fruit.