(7th in a series of seven blogs on Jeremiah 29:10-14)
The Jews who were taken captive into Babylon longed for the day they would be able to go home. God promised He would release them from their bondage and restore them – one day. The longer they waited the more they wanted it to happen. God promised it and they eventually believed it. Jeremiah 29 records God’s promise to them. (See the previous 6 blogs about Jeremiah 29.)
“I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:14) We can identify with that, for we, too, look forward to leaving this land of bondage and being set free to return to our home in heaven. We look forward to God’s presence and remember His promise to come take us home to be with Him.
“I will” God says so it’s as good as done. He doesn’t say He may, or He’ll try but that He WILL do it. It took 70 years in captivity, but finally they looked to Him to return home – at least some of them did. Some responded to Zerubbable, Ezra and Nehemiah and returned home. Unfortunately most of the Jews had become so comfortable in their bondage they didn’t long for home any more. How comfortable are you? How much do you think of your heavenly home and God’s promise to take you there one day (by death or by rapture)? It took the Jews 70 years to start longing or home. How much better to start longing for it when young instead of waiting until we are old to think about heaven.
In the mean time, we can learn from Jeremiah 29 about how to live in captivity until we are released. First, we see the importance of giving up false hopes of a quick fix or easy way out. God will provide eventually, but He usually won’t provide quickly (verse 10). So, secondly, accept what you are going through as from the hands of a loving God who has plans to prosper you and not to harm you (Jeremiah 29:11). Make sure, third, you listen to God and respond to what He says. When you do so He will listen to you as well (Jeremiah 29:12). Then, fourth, make sure you seek God totally and completely, with your whole heart. Don’t just seek His blessings but seek a closer intimacy with Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Finally (fifth) remember His promises to bring you out of this place of bondage to your eternal home with Him forever (Jeremiah 29:14). All of this is temporary and one day will be over. (June 20, 2016 Doylestown, PA)
John 14:1-6 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Read Jeremiah 29:10-14 from you Bible. What promises or challenges apply to you in your present situation? Ask God how he wants you to apply this special passage and start doing so now.