Scripture: Jeremiah 16:10-21 (NIV)

“When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the LORD decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the LORD our God?’ then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me. So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’ “However, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ but it will be said, ‘As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors. “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the LORD, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.” LORD, my strength and my fortress, my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!” “Therefore I will teach them— this time I will teach them my power and might. Then they will know that my name is the LORD.”

There had to be times when, if they thought about it, the people in the Star Wars galaxy thought the Force had forsaken them. Many of them had at least started their lives in the time of the Old Republic, when the Jedi were everywhere and the Force seemed strong. For thousands of years, they were an everyday part of a lot of lives. They showed the Force in their regular actions and were well-regarded as peacemakers.

Then Order 66 came and most all of the Jedi were struck down. The galaxy, at least as far as most people were concerned, was without the light side of the Force as the Jedi were all but extinct. (The Emperor and Darth Vader didn’t seem to make a big deal of their Force abilities, at least to the public at large.) Luke Skywalker brought restoration of the Force with his exploits and his training, but even that apparently didn’t take as we see him being called “the last Jedi” in The Force Awakens after students of his in the Jedi line were struck down.

This in some ways parallels God’s people as we see here in Jeremiah. The days of Gideon and Samuel were over, their land had been taken away from them, and it seemed that God had completely forsaken them. They didn’t feel that God cared, that He was ever going to raise them up from the depths they were in.

Yet, as Luke did bring the Force back (from a certain point of view), Jeremiah promised that the Lord had not forsaken them. There was still hope and, at some point, they would be brought up out of the land of their captors. While God would punish their wickedness, He would not destroy them over it. The Spirit of the Lord would again be strong in the lives of His people.

There are times in our lives where we don’t feel the Spirit, where we think that perhaps God has forsaken us, that things are too quiet. It may take someone coming into our lives, someone saying the words we need to hear, to stoke that fire again. Just like the Jedi, the Spirit is never extinct. It is always there, if you look for it!