Today’s Passage – Jeremiah 26 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – click here to view the text from the Blue Letter Bible website)
(Second Milers also read – Acts 19 – 21; Psalms 101 – 105; Proverbs 21)
“Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
Throughout much of the Book of Jeremiah the prophet is passionately warning the people of Jerusalem to repent so that God could turn from judgment that was surely coming. God had been promising for many years that the people of God would be taken out of their land and delivered into captivity if they refused to turn back to Him. But they didn’t listen, and the promised calamity came as promised. Now, the majority people from Jerusalem are in Babylon, living under the dominion of a Gentile king. Their homes have been taken away, the temple was destroyed, many have died, and the surviving families and friends have been separated from each other. Things were not good. Complicating matters was the fact that there were many false prophets running around, telling them that God was going to give them back everything that was lost in a short time. Jeremiah told them to submit themselves to the rulers of Babylon, and make the best of a very bad situation. He also encouraged them with news that the captivity would not last forever. In seventy years God would again “visit” His people, and bring them back into the land, which they had lost.
I believe that this passage from Jeremiah accurately illustrates the lives of many Christians today. We, like these Israelites of old, have previously made many mistakes that have caused us to fall out of the perfect will of God. We did things our way instead of God’s way. We simply didn’t listen. As a result, our situations are not what they could have been, and though God forgives He does not always restore what was lost from our sin. However, God would say the same thing today to us. Make the best of it. We are living in a sin cursed world today that is reaping the consequences of its sin. All of the prayer in the world is not going to bring us back to Eden, but we can make the best of the world that we have been given. Our nation is not what it was when it was founded. We have lost many of our liberties, and the scars of sin are evident all over our land, but it can still be a wonderful place to live, and we can still worship and serve our Lord here. Make the best of it. Some of our homes have experienced tragedies: some of which were not our fault, but some were the direct result of our own bad choices. We can still make the best of a less than ideal situation. Ultimately, we must remember that this world is not our home. Someday, God will bring His children away from this imperfect, sin-ravaged place into a beautiful new Heaven and Earth, which will be far better than the original; but for now, let’s make the best of the situation we are in.
Posted in Thoughts from Jeremiah by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.