“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.- Jeremiah 29
Let your kids get married.
Seek the welfare of the city and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.
This passage came to me as revelation. These verses when placed next to my life are revolutionary. In the old church I went to everyone was a buzz about the latest doomsday event, or how God was probably going to lift up a specific set of believers over everyone else in the town. They'd dream dreams that coincided with whatever the "leader" was choosing to do and they'd brand those who disagreed as heretics in a sense. I used to be okay with this. Their case was on the surface good. It's a pawns purpose to march forward in defense of the king and queen after all, but my mindset was instilled before I showed up to that church.
For as long as I could remember I have been mentally prepared for the whole world to fall apart. Coming from a set of broken homes where characters drop in and out, I guess I got used to the idea that the future was nothing special. I got comfortable with the idea that life was something we suffer, that we endure, that we make the best of until we can finally be free of it and rest in the arms of God. I've become familiar with these concepts lately when sharing with a friend where I come from as it feels like doom comes out, or perhaps pessimism.
My mind is stuck on this passage. In the midst of captivity, the diaspora, the outcasted believers God tells them that in their punishment... Live. Live well. Live and flourish and be a blessing to those around you. In the midst of your captivity, be Joseph. Seek God and be a blessing to your warden and captain of the guard- Potipher.
I am not only permitted to live a healthy and prosperous life, but I'm commanded to.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
For the past two years I have been living a life not rooted in dysfunction. I've walked out the door each day and looked at the world around me, happy. I work on things, God and I. I'm in a healthy church that I serve in. I have lives that I try to pour into. With this outlook and this breathing room, I experience a freedom in my service to others, not a mandate.
In this speak truth. Tell the truth of things that are sin, to a people that do not wish to hear it. For some will accept it. Some will repent. Some will join into the covenant of God through Yeshua the Messiah. If we are ashamed of the truth, and it is rejection of the truth that brought God's people out into the diaspora... can we ever hope to be gathered back in?