Peace and Prosperity
Jeremiah 29:4-7, 10-14 NLT
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.” 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. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
I have been sitting with this text for awhile now. There are a few select statements that people like to use out of this passage. I continue to go back to the ENTIRE passage. Yes, God has plans to prosper us. Yes, when we pray, he will listen. The thing is, there is meat in between those statements.
God sent His people to Babylon. They were taken from their land, others scattered to the far corners of the world. The people who were brought to Babylon were told to make a home, they were told to build a legacy. They were told to plant themselves. The reality is, they were told that they would be there for 70 years, that is almost 2 generations worth of time. (The desert was 40 years) So, they were to grow their descendants and ready them to be brought to the restoration of their nation.
The world we live in today is happy to repeat the good points, the God will remember us and bless us statements, but we also need to remember that he said to be planted in the midst of their enemies. Not just planted, but to bless them, and by blessing them THEY would be blessed. It is easy to jump over that part. Who wants to think about being stuck in places that are not surrounded by their traditions and their ways and find a way to not only prosper but to bless those living so differently than our own beliefs?
We are living in some defining times right now. We can choose to circle up and call out to God to heal our land, or we can step into the things that He has shown us and told us over and over that will bring blessing to our people and our land. We are to prosper and bless in the worst of situations, in the worst of places. We are to show His love and kindness even when it doesn't make sense, when it doesn't feel good. We are to yield to Him and not our own feelings. We are to build homes and plant gardens in the midst of our captivities, showing those around us the absolute goodness of the Father we serve.
There are always time limits involved, and sometimes we are so focused on what is promised at the end that we have missed out on all of the "in between" opportunities. We are so focused on what is promised to our next generation that we have forgotten to bless those around us to ensure that promise can be fulfilled. As the Lord said, the welfare of the these places determines OUR welfare. Are you working for peace and prosperity of your city? Are you waiting on what is to come instead of doing the proactive now? Are you waiting to leave exile, dreaming of going back to your homeland? Israel was not returned to a beautiful city and land, they had to rebuild everything when they returned. (We forget that part a lot too.)
My prayer today is two fold. May we be focused on working towards the peace and prosperity of our cities and may we be readying the next generations to be ready for the work ahead of them.
10/16/2022 06:10:46 pm
Face trade sea. Sometimes nor good. Oil seek position foreign ready.
Leave a Reply.
I am a wife and a mom of two and a prayer warrior. I love Jesus and love wrestling with the Word of God and finding how my life fits into His story.