S (Scripture): Jeremiah 29:10 The Lord proclaims: When Babylon’s seventy years are up, I will come and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. 11 I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope. 12 When you call me and come and pray to me, I will listen to you. 13 When you search for me, yes, search for me with all your heart, you will find me. 14 I will be present for you, declares the Lord, and I will end your captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have scattered you, and I will bring you home after your long exile, declares the Lord.
O (Observation): God has been disappointed with the people who claim to follow God. So, God has allowed Babylon and it’s king – King Nebuchadnezzar- to conquer Judah, settle there, and send some of God’s people (in exile) to Babylon. While in Babylon, God instructs (through Jeremiah’s voice) that God’s people are to ignore false prophets telling them that this exile is just for a year or two. Instead, God is telling the people to settle into their new “home,” get married, have kids, and be a good citizen. That will ensure their future. For God will return the people to their homeland in due season.
So, even in the midst of exile, God is still providing a way for God’s people to be saved.
A (Application): The voices all around us claim to be “right.” Stay or go? This choice or that choice? And quite often, we base our response on logic or selfish desire.
How often do we base our response on faith that God will see us through? Sometimes we make the choice that seems less logical or outright destructive. But what if we are making the choice, while leaning into God’s grace?
What if our choice is just a choice? What if our choice is put into God’s hands? What if we listen and don’t hear what God is saying? What if our fears win? What if the other voices drown out God’s voice?
Make time this day to hear what God is saying. Quiet your mind. Let God’s light shine into your life this day. God is there. That is the grace.
You might be in exile. You might be full of fear or discomfort. Don’t let the knee-jerk reaction be the only “voice” you hear. Let God speak. Ask God to hear you. See what shakes out.
P (Prayer): Gracious God, listen. Gracious God, speak. Amen.