Jeremiah 29: 1, 4-7
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.
“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.”
The Lord God Almighty had always provided victory for his people as long as they served him. Now God’s people, who have sinned against him and engaged in the worship of idols, have been defeated by the Babylonians and carried into exile. Some false prophets have spoken that God will only punish them for a short time. The true prophet of God, Jeremiah is now spending this letter to all the exiles in Babylon with instructions to continue living their lives by marrying, producing children, plant gardens, and to seek peace and prosperity by praying for their captors. They will be in captivity for seventy years before the Lord will bring them back into his plans to give hope and prosperity back to them.
Father help us to worship you in all we do and say. Thank you that when we serve you, we can trust you to fill our lives with hope. Help us to never give up, to pray for those in authority over us and to always continue in faith to bring honor to you and to others. We ask in Jesus’ name, amen.