I know the plans I have for you.
This is what the Lord of heavenly armies said to the captives through the prophet Jeremiah.
NLT Jeremiah 29
1Jeremiah wrote a letter from Jerusalem to the elders, priests, prophets, and all the people who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. 2This was after King Jehoiachin, the queen mother, the court officials, the other officials of Judah, and all the craftsmen and artisans had been deported from Jerusalem. 3He sent the letter with Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah when they went to Babylon as King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Nebuchadnezzar. This is what Jeremiah’s letter said:
4This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7And 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.”
These passages tell us so much about what God values and preserves.
Its a word to us about purpose even in captivity. We are to occupy, and grow.
In Family. In Peace. In Prosperity.
Marry and have children, find spouses for your children and encourage grandchildren. ( Calm down, I am speaking of praying. Ask God to lead them to the ones they should marry.)
He tells us to work to build houses, plant gardens, and eat the food we produce. He tells us to work for Peace and Prosperity for the cities we live in.
8This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let your prophets and fortune-tellers who are with you in the land of Babylon trick you. Do not listen to their dreams, 9because they are telling you lies in my name. I have not sent them,” says the LORD.
10This 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. 11For 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.
I spent some time in France last Thanksgiving Holiday. My niece and I visited many museums. We saw beautiful architectural designs in the centuries old museums and churches throughout the city.
The furniture from the period of the Kings was detailed and amazingly well built. The paintings, the rugs, many of the Kings things, were well preserved for our century to view. We could imagine the lives of the Kings, as we viewed the historical displays, that were preserved through the centuries.
I thought about the Bible in history and how it records the stories of not only good things, the plans and promises, it tells you also about the things, that went wrong and were wrong.
Yet, the Bible does not release a sense of coldness, as the old churches and museums do. It feels alive!
As I looked at the history of the Kings, I saw the pomp and the circumstances. I saw the sadness of the eyes in the beautiful oil paintings.
I saw the Egyptian artifacts, the beautiful etchings on the jewelry. The burial boxes. I saw how they hoped to preserve life. I pray, they valued spiritual preservation as well.
I thought about how important history is to the next generation, and how we should never attempt to change history. The good and the bad must be clearly seen.
It warns us of deception, tricks, schemes, and dreams, of those not representing Creator God.
Mistakes should not be hidden, nor should accomplishments.
Through the viewing of history and the reading of the Bible, we can plainly see mistakes of the past. We should have no desire to repeat them.
We should have no goals to live as earthly kings. We should have no faith in a box preserving our body.
Riches do not bring health, or happiness. Focusing on preserving the physical body does not guarantee eternal life.
Knowing that God has a plan for your life, is the source of peace. Knowing there is hope of the future with him, is where we can place our trust.
We can build our lives around building a home, encouraging our children to find spouses and have children. We are told to multiply and enjoy life, not dwindle away. God has a good plan for us, to give us a hope and a future.
We must pray for the peace and prosperity for our city and the United States, for its welfare will determine our welfare!
As for Me personally;
The painting that I would like to preserve and hang on my mantle is priceless.
It speaks of a salvation so great, that the depiction of it, can’t even be drawn by a human hand.
It can only be written upon the heart by a unseen hand.
Unseen faith preserves my heart. It’s there, I feel it beating.
It’s a priceless heirloom. It’s my inheritance. It’s my legacy.
Therefore, I will wear it joyfully, and center my hope and future, in His salvation by grace, through faith!
I believe God will bring me home again.
My hope is that when my body ends up in a box, my faith will clearly be seen as having been lived out fully!
May it be said of me, “she believed God, and she lived like she believed.”