As I continue to read through the book of Jeremiah (in the Bible), I am learning that although God sent the nations Judah and Israel to Babylon as captives in order to correct them of their sinful ways, God wanted His people to know that He had plans for them. Plans that were good and not evil.
In chapter 29 starting in verse 4 I read…
‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and [have children]; take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters-that you may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace…(v11) For I know the thoughts [plans] that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
That is a very different picture of what I envisioned captivity to entail. Up to this point, my mental picture of their captivity was more of a prison lifestyle with nothing but hardship and despair (not unlike how I have felt in the recent past). And although there probably was hardships (how could there not be if you are taken from your home and all that you know without any idea if you will be able to return) God encouraged them to plant roots, both literally and figuratively. He wanted them to establish a new home, enjoy the fruit of their labor, develop new and intimate relationships, and through their work for which God will bless them, those native to Babylon would be blessed as well.
When thinking of our circumstances after reading this text I should be excited to see what is planned for us. To be truthful, God has already blessed us in the different places in which He has moved us. We are being well fed, connecting with lovely people, and very cautiously planting some roots. Although each transition has been very difficult by having to die daily to our desires, and having to fix our sight on an unclear future, God has proven His faithfulness and I am learning more and more about His immense, passionate, attentive love for us.