10“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the exiles in Babylon. They where itching to be done with the captivity King Nebuchadnezzar had forced on them. I imagine they got to the end of the letter and where shocked. Then they had to read it again. But the word that would have sent them back to the top would have been what he put at the end.
“When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Bad news. Good news.
You are going to be in Babylon for 70 years. Then, I will bring you home.
God raises the issue of trust about the future.
Are you trusting the One who holds your future? He says, “ I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
We long for a home properly ruled by The King Jesus. We are not there yet. But even now, we live under His graceful rule. As the church we live like exiles as the people of His Kingdom. Our hope for the future resides not in the inventions, wisdom or economies of people but in the presence of our King with us now.
So we live like an exile. We engage in the world today because our hope is secured in Christ Jesus. We live like all the great people of faith described in Hebrews 11:
13These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.