Thursday, 1 August 2019
Jeremiah 29:4 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon:
This is the start, the introduction as it were, of the letter that Jeremiah wrote and sent to the exiles in Babylon. It is going on to contain verses with which many are deeply familiar. But let's stop and consider this opening verse, because it sets the context for all that follows.
Nebuchadnezzar had taken thousands of exiles from Judah and Jerusalem off to Babylon. Or had he? Who had sent the captives into exile? This verse makes it very clear. Although Nebuchanezzar was the agent, it was God Himself who had made this move. He had sent many of His people, the governing elite in particular, away into exile exactly as He had consistently said He would. They consistently ignored His voice, spoken through many prophets, and the consequence was that the promised punishment fell upon the ruling classes and those who supported them.
We should all learn a lesson from that!