Day 6

December 8

Jeremiah 33:14-16

14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

A New Kingdom

by Hannah Stolze, Ph.D.

Bad news travels fastest. I’ve learned this in my sustainable global supply chain management research. Just a little bit of bad news about missteps in a supply chain can shift consumers’ perceptions of a product, a company, and even an entire industry. There is bad news around us all the time. The world we live in is constantly at war. Economic recessions, trade wars, and far off enemies are in the news feeds, the soundbites, and the posts that we consume every day.  

When Jeremiah wrote this prophetic promise, the world was facing major global disruption. The known world was at war. Israel to the north had already fallen to Assyria. Assyria then fell to Babylon and Babylon was waging war on Jerusalem.  

This time held potential for great despair – yet, a very hopeful thing happened. A young king was appointed in Judah. King Josiah undertook political, religious, and cultural reform. One of the major reforms was to renovate the temple and places of worship that had been destroyed by the wars waged on Jerusalem and Judah.  

In 622 B.C., the law-book was found in the temple. Today this would encompass the first 5 books of the Bible. This discovery of Torah spurred a revival of covenant renewal, Passover celebration, and a return to worship. The prophet Jeremiah served in the temple during these years. Jeremiah celebrated with King Josiah and the nation of Judah when the scrolls were found in the temple writing: 

"Your words were found and I ate them and your word was to me for joy and for the gladness of my heart. For I am called by your name Yahweh, the God of Hosts."

Despite the fact that the world was at war all around Judah, Jeremiah called the people of Jerusalem to hope for a time when Judah would be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. He also called Judah to do what was just and right in the land both in the current time of disruption and war and in a future day of God’s redemption.  

I’m an instinctively hopeful person, despite being realistic about the broken world we live in. I study disruptions around the world daily as I teach global supply chain classes. All throughout human history, there has been ample opportunity for despair. However, we live with the hope of the work Jesus did when he was born into this world. He inaugurated a new kingdom, and we are invited to be citizens of this kingdom that is already here but not yet fully realized.  As Christians, you and I are now spiritual descendants of that righteous Branch that sprouted from David’s line. During this time of advent, we are invited into hope as we participate in celebrating this new kingdom our LORD, our righteous savior Jesus established for us.  

About the Author

Hannah Stolze, Ph.D.

Hannah Stolze, Ph.D.

Hannah Stolze, Ph.D., joined the Hankamer School of Business’s faculty in the Fall of 2023 as the inaugural holder of the William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management. Stolze came to Baylor after serving a joint appointment as director and associate professor of supply chain management at Lipscomb University and executive director and visiting professor of core studies in business at Wheaton College. At Wheaton, she formed the Wheaton Center for Faith & Innovation, a research and training institute comprised of students, alumni, leaders and academicians that fosters the integration of the marketplace and ministry.  

Prior to joining the faculties of Wheaton and Lipscomb, she spent three years as assistant professor at Florida State University. Stolze’s academic career began in the U.S. Army where she served as a cultural analyst in psychological operations and public affairs officer during her six years of military service. In Stolze’s academic career, she focuses more specifically on sustainable practices in the retail and food chain and transformative supply chain practices. While the sustainable food chain focuses on “people-profit-planet,” a transformative supply chain strategy incorporates four additional outcome variables: the physical health of people within the supply chain, spiritual wellbeing, emotional wellbeing and political impacts.