DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-08-25
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
BIBLE REFERENCE: Jeremiah 29:10-14
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)
BIBLE TEXT: 10 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. 11 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. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 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.”
OBSERVATION: Included in our verses today are some phrases that are quoted often in the Christian arena, but I believe it would be enlightening to read these words in their context and really understand how special this must have been to the Israelites. I have no doubt that God wants us to gather some real truth from His words to the Israelites, and He wants us to be encouraged by what He assured the Israelites with, as we could just as easily be imprisoned in our spiritual battles today, and desperately in need of our awesome God.
APPLICATION: In our former years, when parents obeyed the laws of God without fear of earthly arrest by the authorities, we might remember being spanked and at the same time being assured by our parent that it was for our own good, and because they loved us so much! Somehow those two things never seemed like they should have occurred at the same time!! But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, take a close look at what happened to the Israelites. They were given over to the Babylonians almost as a punishment for the evil they had done. God shows up, and I’m sure this brought great hope to the Israelites as they were so sure that He had come to their rescue. But in verse 10 above, we see where God told them that they had 70 years left of their sentence under the Babylonians. I realize that people lived much longer than us in those days, but 70 years is a long time by any time clock! However, God went on to assure them that He would be back around to get them at that point, because He had some awesome things in store for them upon their release. As I already said, 70 years is an eternity when you are stuck under the arrest of wicked leaders, but don’t you think that given these promises by God, perhaps they felt awesome in knowing that God still loved them, and therefore a great hope in knowing that there was light at the end of their long, dark tunnel? I have a good friend who went to prison for 20+ years. Without the hope of his family and in knowing that God was by his side whether in prison or out, don’t you see how hopeless he would have felt as he entered the doors of that prison? Perhaps you have recently lost a loved one, or you have a loved one in hospital with this dreaded COVID 19, or perhaps your son or daughter has been caught up in riots and/or civil unrest, and you just don’t know how you will make it through life Without your loved ones. Can’t you imagine God whispering to you like He did to the Israelites – that He has plans for you, and it’s not plans for disaster, but to give you a future filled with great hope? My friends, we serve this same God who made these words known to us through the Scriptures. He was there for the Israelites, and He has promised that He will be there for us also. Others won’t understand how you’re able to keep your chin up, but deep inside you’re in love with the One whose hand is extended to you telling you to come unto Him all that are weary and heavy burdened. You are looking forward to the plans He has for you, and the assurance that you will be able to call on Him and He will answer. That’s our awesome God folks! Do you know Him? Please take time to read carefully through my Footnote, and especially through the Scriptures noted in the link ‘To Know Jesus’. I believe that He is anxious to have you surrender your life to Him, so please don’t delay that decision.
PRAYER: Thank You for the assurances given in Your Word today Lord! There’s so much going on that we have absolutely no experience in. There are hurts that loved ones never thought possible. Yet today, You have given us assurance that although our time of trouble may not be over yet, joy comes in the morning. Father, You are waiting on the other side, and I believe You just want to bless us beyond anything we could imagine. So Lord, please take us as we are, and shower Your blessings on us at just the right moment. Please hold our hand and help us through to the Promised Land, for we want to see You and we want to worship You around the throne for all eternity. Bless us Lord, so that we could bless others, all for Your praise and glory. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog at https://NuggetsFromGodsWord.org that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading or listening to this devotional, please go to the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and see all of my posts, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!