DEVOTION:Be Still! God Is Working Out Something Good For You!‏

God had decided to send the people of Judah to Babylon as exiles. King Nebuchadnezzar had already carried Jehoiachin the son of Jehoiakim who was the son of Josiah king of Judah away to Babylon. Included in this group were the priests and the prophets. What is shocking is that the same prophets who gave false prophecy in Jerusalem, continued prophesying lies to the people of Judah in Babylon, contrary to the message from God. Before they were carried to Babylon, they preached peace in Jerusalem while the prophet Jeremiah was preaching of the coming destruction of Jerusalem. Now in Babylon, they were telling the people that God would soon take the exiles back to Jerusalem while Jeremiah was telling them that this exile would last for seventy years. These false prophets seem to have convinced the people of Judah in Babylon because the exiles did not plan to settle in Babylon. Instead they were anticipating a quick return to Jerusalem. Because of this, Jeremiah sent a letter to these exiles with a message from the Lord for them.

This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. Jeremiah 29:1

 

Here is the time frame of when it was sent.

 This was after King Jehoiachin and the queen mother, the court officials and the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the skilled workers and the artisans had gone into exile from Jerusalem. Jeremiah 29:2

 

The following are the messengers who carried this letter to the exiles.

 He entrusted the letter to Elasah son of Shaphan and to Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to King Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon.Jeremiah 29:3

 

Here is what the letter said:

This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. 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.” Jeremiah 29:4-6

 

This is one of the reasons why this letter was written:

 

Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 29:8-9

 

One can only imagine what was going on in the minds of these exiles when they heard this message. They must have been wondering how long they would be in exile. They found their answer in the letter:

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.Jeremiah 29:10

 

Then God explained why He would come back to them:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 

APPLICATION:

  1. The best place to be in life is where God wants you to be. Even though being in Babylon was the most uncomfortable idea for the people of Judah, it was, at the same time, where God wanted them to be at that moment.
  2. When God directs you to wait, He knows exactly why. His plans might not be visible to us at the moment but as He assured the Judeans, He also says this you. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.Jeremiah 29:11
  3. As we had seen earlier, this exile was a punishment that later turned the hearts of the Judeans toward God. God had not abandoned them. He needed them to pay attention to His voice, and then He would bring them to the Promised Land again and prosper them.
  4. It is important to note that God has good thoughts and good plans for each one of His children. It might not be fulfilled as soon as we would like, but it will eventually be fulfilled.
  5. In what other ways does this verse speak to you today?
  6. How have you always understood this verse? Has the context shed more light and meaning to you?

Read: Jeremiah 29:1-11

Marked: Jeremiah 29:1-11

Thought: Be Still! God Is Working Out Something Good For You!

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,

“Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

Plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

BE STILL! GOD IS WORKING OUT SOMETHING GOOD FOR YOU!

By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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