Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Jeremiah 29

At long last Jeremiah's predictions of doom for Jerusalem and Judah have come to be. Yet amazingly, there are still prophets who claim the terrible crisis will last on 2 years and then everything will be fine. Jeremiah delivers news that no one believes, no one wants to hear -- this exile will last generations. He gives the word of the Lord that must have seemed so impossible to comprehend, "Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." - vs 7.
They've been so used to praying for the destruction of their enemies and for their own relief that they can't even imagine looking or hoping or praying for something different. Those who have been sent away in exile are the people those back home in Jerusalem thought were cursed. Now Jeremiah reveals they are the ones God has smiled upon and will bless. How upside down the whole plan of God is!
Jeremiah's Letter
How tempting it would have been to write an “I told you so” letter after so many years of people not listening to his warnings! But he must have remembered himself that God said, “I told you – they wouldn’t listen.” So now the time for warning of God’s judgment is over.
This is a story about the grace and unending patience of God.

Periods of Exile
There are phases of life where we’ve been corrected, punished, or simply when things don’t go as we want them to. Likely that some of the people hauled off to Babylon were faithful people who had done well in following God. Others had listened to the prophet, and knew he was right, but had not made the changes to life they knew they need to make. Maybe they just put them off. Still others were part of the problem that brought the judgment of God upon his people. All of them are now in the same boat, living through the desert experience once again.
Exiled. Exiled from the best that life has to offer, from the brightest path of God’s plans.

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Thanks for posting!