In these verses God preserves the lives of the people of Judah by sending them into exile in Babylon. I’m sure this isn’t exactly the vacation God’s people dreamt about.
In an instant their lives completely change. Their homes are gone, they’ve lost loved ones, and now they’re marched off into exile to a strange foreign land. The obvious question echoes…”Where’s God?”
There’s good news in response to Judah’s desperate query.
God doesn’t abandon the exiles. He’s preps Jeremiah, working with him behind the scenes by telling him the plans he has for his people. And Jeremiah, ever faithful to God’s call, waits for God’s perfect timing and writes a letter of reassurance (essentially a letter from God Himself) to the exiles.
“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem. ‘Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.’” Jeremiah 29:4-7 (NLT)
“This is what the Lord says, ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ Jeremiah 29:10-11 (NLT)
I imagine a unanimous sigh of relief echoes around Babylon upon receipt of this letter. The exiles finally know God is still watching over them, even in this unknown, strange land. Imagine the burden that’s lifted, simply because they know God is in control and looking out for them.
You can breathe sigh of relief in the midst of your suffering, too. You probably don’t see it at this moment, but God is in control. He’s looking out for you and watching over you.
Whatever God has planned it’s always better than anything we can imagine. At the right time God will send a “Jeremiah” into your life to give you the “inside scoop”, and to reassure you. Until that happens, hang onto God’s promise,
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Things To Think AboutWhat are you struggling with today? Where might God be working “behind the scenes” this very moment, even though you can’t see it?
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