Tag Archives: Babylon
I have been studying Jeremiah this month. One of the most quoted verses in Jeremiah is Jeremiah 29:11: “’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.’” Many times this verse is not used in the proper context. As you read the verses around it, you read of a people who is in exile. This does not sound like something desirable. The promise for a hope and future is made to the people in captivity. It was a promise to those who spent seventy years under the rule of others. It was a promise to bring back the people.
After the seventy years were up, just as promised, God delivered his people out of captivity. The people of God were able to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and the city walls. God restored His people. Just in the same way, He is able to restore all that is broken. That includes you and I. For just as the earth and all it contains, you and I are broken. Praise God, He promises to restore us.
Though this verse speaks about a people long ago, God also promises us hope and a future (Hebrews 10:23). He also listens to our prayers (Psalm 77:1, 1 John 5:14). His Word also says when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Today, remember what the Psalmist wrote: “Trust in Him at all times… pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (62:8 NIV). Let Him continue to restore you by fixing your eyes on Him and following His leading.
“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. 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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.’” – Jeremiah 29:10-14 [NIV]
When King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that troubled him, he asked the astrologers the meaning of the dream but they couldn’t tell him. As a result he was furious and ordered that all of the wise men in Babylon be executed. Men were sent to find Daniel and his friends to follow the orders of the king. When Daniel was found by the king’s guard, “Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.”
Daniel was given important information. Lives were in danger. His life was in danger. Daniel did not run away and hide. Daniel did not run away and make a big announcement to all of his friends. Daniel did not get frantic. Daniel did not act first and think later. He responded with wisdom and discretion.
There are moments in our lives where we should do the same but instead we make a post on a social media network or send text messages to a group of friends. There are moments when we act too soon without much thought and end up getting ourselves into more trouble. As you go through this week, with each situation you face, aim to act with wisdom and discretion.
“When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.” – Daniel 2:14 [NLT]