It is great to receive stirring words of prophecies declaring good things to come in your life. Yet, with every prophetic declaration there is a process that must take place before it occurs. We are all quick to quote Jeremiah 29:11, but how many of us read the verses that precede it?
4 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: 5 “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.”
10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. Jeremiah 29:4-6;10 (NLT)
Jeremiah in 29:11 indeed spoke of a future time of good things for Judah, after thousands had been taken captive However, the verses that precede verse 11 indicate that the people of Judah need to settle down and prepare to be in Babylon for awhile, in fact, seventy years! Yet, even with this captivity there is a promise of blessing. For they are told to marry and have families, to plant gardens and feed off of them. To establish themselves as family units witbh lineage in mind, bearing many children and grandchildren! The key verse for me is found in 6b:
And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” Jeremiah 29:6b
What a promise, yet with contingency. The contingency is to see that this pagan nation they are confined to prospers, for in the prosperity of this nation is their own welfare. And if you can imagine, the Lord wants them to pray to Him for it to happen!
What a novelty? Pray for your enemies, for those who have taken you captive from your homeland. Pray that they will do well, in fact that they will prosper; for in so doing you will find legacy and prosperity. It looks like America needs a Jeremiah to declare to us this kind of tactic with our own people and our own nation, maybe the senseless murders will cease.