As when He led the Israelites, God knows exactly where He is taking each of us. And we're not to be fearful about the path He has chosen for us but bravely and faithfully trust in His Word (Jer. 29:10-13). God turns sadness into joy (31:13). A new Covenant is promised (31:27-40).
A full end of the powerful kingdoms of Assyria and Babylon did take place. These two powerful world empires were destroyed just as the Lord had foretold through Jeremiah. Jeremiah also prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of the small kingdom of Judah. Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap (ruin) (Jer. 30:18).
The Lord also revealed to Jeremiah that, at a future time, He would make a New Covenant: I will put My Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people (31:33). During their Babylonian captivity, through His prophet Jeremiah, the Lord taught the people to seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace (29:7). This means they were to pray for, and be a blessing to, their captors; and the Israelites, in turn, would be blessed by God. The Lord reminds us also of the self-destructive results of hatred, of bitterness and holding grudges, and of seeking revenge when we are mistreated or faced with opposition.
Pity the person who, even though physically free, remains shackled with dissatisfaction about his circumstances and is longing for a time when he can be free and enjoy living. Perhaps he is waiting until he has a promotion or obtains a better home, or finally reaches retirement. But he is always impatiently waiting for release from his present situation. An even more serious example is the person who has been offended and has quit attending church. Often such people are engulfed in bitter resentment and have made themselves prisoners of their own miserable attitudes (Heb. 13:5-6). They cannot be forgiven because of their own unforgiving spirit (see Matt. 6:14-15).
The Apostle Peter was led to write: Gird up the loins of your mind. . . . As obedient children, not fashioning (conforming) yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation (behavior); Because it is written, Be ye holy: for I am holy (I Pet. 1:13-16).
Thought for Today:
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Mic. 6:8).
As the One who forgives sin (Jer. 31:34). That ye may know that the Son of Man hath power (authority) on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go (Matt. 9:6; compare John 8:10-11).
29:11 an expected end = hopeful future; 29:23 have committed villany =have done disgraceful things; 30:21 engaged =pledged; 31:14 satiate =fully satisfy; 31:21 high heaps =road signs (pointing back to Israel).
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI) • Country: Uzbekistan (24.4 million) central Asia • Major languages: Uzbek and Russian • Limited religious freedom due to Islamic influence • 68.2% Muslim (largely Sunni); 4.4% Russian Orthodox; .2% Roman Catholic; .2% Protestant; .5% Jewish; .5% Other; .2% Baha'i; .3% Buddhist; 25.5% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to be merciful and to forgive your sins (Ps. 25:6-7).
Optional Reading: 1 John 4
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 4:18