Jeremiah 29

Jeremiah 29 has the prophet sending a letter to God’s people.  “These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent….to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon”.   God has Jeremiah explaining the why and what of this exile where His people have been captured and sent to Babylon.  It is no accident.  God’s clear in the why and gives that answer later in the chapter.  It happened because the people “did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen”.  We tend to think obedience is optional.  That simply is not true.

God tells the people to settle in because they are going to be there a while.  Here are the instructions He gives through Jeremiah:

  • Take wives and have sons and daughters
  • take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage
  • the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile
  • pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare
  • Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you….I did not send them

God doesn’t want His people to act as captives and victims, but to get involved in life and continue to live.  They are to care for their families and the place God has put them.

It is only for a time, although a pretty long time, that this will last.  “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place”.  God has a plan for His people.  This is not some random occurrence.  It happened because of the choices the people made.  There is a price to pay for sin.  And when a nation sins, there is a price for that nation to pay.  God uses Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians to bring His people back to submission and obedience.  It isn’t an overnight thing – seventy years worth to be exact.  But God is in control and has a plan.

Then we are given one of the greatest promises in all of scripture.  God reminds us just how in control He is.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me,  and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart”.  God has a plan for each and every one of us.  It is a plan for good, and enables us to not only seek but to find God when we make that effort.  God wants us to know His plan.  It isn’t a mystery.  But we have to take action and come to Him.  We need to pursue Him the same way He pursues us!


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