S (Scripture): Jeremiah 46:27
But don’t be afraid, my servant Judah;
don’t lose heart, Israel.
I will deliver you from a faraway place
and your children from the land of their exile.
My people Jacob will again be safe and sound,
with no one harassing them.
So don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
declares the Lord.
I’m with you;
I will put an end to all the nations
where I have scattered you.
But I won’t put an end to you.
I won’t let you avoid punishment;
I will discipline you as you deserve.
O (Observation): Some of God’s people experienced exile when the Babylonians were allowed to come in and take over Judah. Some of God’s people stayed in Judah to be servants to the Babylonians.
Either way, an exile was happening. This was no longer their home. Temples destroyed. Protective city walls crushed. Foreigners occupying the territory of God’s people.
God’s people erred and went out of their way to disobey God. And God’s response was to let the Babylonians come in and do their thing.
Yet, God would not completely abandon the people whom God claimed. God’s people would be remembered by God. They would not be forsaken forever.
The promise is made by God. Even though discipline awaits, God is still with God’s people.
A (Application): Exile. I kind of feel an exile has come upon our family. We moved from Murfreesboro, TN, to Lilburn, GA. Our children are in new schools, our jobs have changed. Yet, this does not feel like punishment, but rather a call towards a new direction. This whole situation is not one of correction, but one of new orientation.
We do sense God’s hand guiding and moving us in the right direction. We are to be patient and trust in the Lord. We are to “be” and not just “do.”
That is hard. Simple, but hard.
And so we go to work or school. We do our best to give God praise though our words and actions…knowing that God does not forget us.
God is with us. For, even though we feel like are being worn away, this allows God’s presence to shine through even more.
If you feel like you are in exile, explore the ways in which “less of you, more of God” comes about in your life.
P (Prayer): Lord, guide us into the way of peace. Amen.