“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters, find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage... In crease in numbers there... Also, seek the welfare 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.” Jeremiah 29:5-7
This is not exactly the message I would want to hear if I was exiled in a city I did not want to be in. But this is the message that Jeremiah delivers to the Israelites. If I were them I would want to hear the message of freedom not one of settling. It must have been frustrating to see hear this from God. But, God through Jeremiah encourages them through these times. Here God wants them to do their best even if they do not like the situation they are in. Then to make matters worse for them God ask the Israelites to pray for the city they are exiled too. The Israelites must have puked after hearing this. That’s like asking a prisoner to pray for the the prison that it prospers. I bet there were expecting freedom not to settle down.
Seeking the welfare of the city is not easy when you hate the place. Now we are not in captivity but or anything, but there are times where I can’t stand being in a certain place. It’s like me living in this one part of my town. But I grew up in a totally different part of town. Not that where I live now is bad, but it’s just not exactly what I am used to. That’s just one situation. There are many other situations that I am in that I am not content with, but the lesson here I need to learn is that you need to seek the best in that situation no matter what. God wants us to strive and prosper. He wants us to do our very best in no matter what situation we are in. He wants us our lives to be an outward reflection of our faith in Him. But it’s hard, it’s not easy to be in content in situations that I don’t want to be in. But that is what God is asking. Pray for it.
Lord help me to move from one step of faith to another. I pray for the welfare of the place where I am situated no matter how bad it is.