Read: Jeremiah 29:1-9
Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. (v. 7 NIV)
When my family and I first moved into our church’s parsonage, we had to get over the sense that this house wasn’t our house. A church member urged us to hang pictures. A year later, we started to plant a garden. Ten years later, the house feels different to us. Pictures on the walls and flowers in the garden are two signs that this house has become our home.
One of the most difficult commands God ever gave is found in Jeremiah 29. He transplanted his people from their beloved Jerusalem to hated Babylon. There God said, “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce” (v. 5 NIV). He also said, “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper” (v. 7 NIV).
Being the people of God means being planted by God. Sometimes we feel alienated or threatened by the places and the people who are living where we have been planted. God invites us to make peace because he always plants us for a purpose. God’s promise is that when we devote ourselves to the peace and prosperity of our communities, we too will benefit. Like the exiles, we are assured: God plants us in love—love for us and the world to which he sends us. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, thank God for his provision and pray for the peace and prosperity of your place.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.