-A message from God to the exiles in 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 (Jeremiah 29:1-7).” God tells them not to listen to the false prophets who deceive and dream lying dreams. He has not sent them (Jeremiah 29:8-9). When 70 years are completed for their captivity in Babylon, God will visit and fulfill His good Word to bring them back. He knows the plans for them for welfare and not for calamity to give a hope and a future. At that time they will call upon the LORD and come and pray to Him, and He will certainly listen to their cries. They will seek for God and find Him when, and only when, they search for the LORD with ALL their heart. He will be found and will restore their fortunes and will gather them back from all the nations and places to where they had been driven (Jeremiah 29:10-14). *Application* This is an incredible prophecy with much significance for us in the here and now. Notice that the complete surrender of the heart is the prerequisite. God promises to restore us when we seek and call upon Him exclusively with an undivided heart. While this can be difficult, it is possible through His Holy Spirit’s power, Christ’s sacrifice, and our free-will choice to obey. Come to God, He has a hope and a plan for your bright future!
-A rebuke of the king who sits in Judah on the throne of David is given in the next section. He embraced the false word of the false prophets, and God assures that He is against the arrogant with sword, famine, and pestilence once again (Jeremiah 14:12-18; 20:4; 21:7-9; 24:10; 27:13; 28:8 to name a few) . They will be a terror to all the kingdoms of the earth, a curse, a horror, a hissing, and a reproach everywhere they go because they did not listen to God’s Words declared by His true prophets for repentance (Jeremiah 29:15-19). God further promises that Zedekiah, the king of Judah, and the false prophet Ahab will be delivered into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar to be slayed. The Word of the LORD is that these have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have falsely presented the words of God (Jeremiah 29:20-23). Also and finally, a rebuke is given for Shemaiah for denouncing the Word of the LORD through Jeremiah and making up his own word. He made the people trust in a lie and will be punished with annihilation along with his descendants because he preached rebellion against the LORD (Jeremiah 29:24-32). *Application* If we want to see the goodness of God, we cannot walk in pretense and lies. This is the major application of this section. A false vision, not from the LORD, destroys. Realize the actual Word of the LORD and live. He will eventually bring peace and goodness as His reward for steadfast perseverance in the truth. While there may be pain in the offering, walk with righteousness in the coming favor of the true King! Repent and return to Him in faith with fullness of heart!
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 29:11-13