The Promises of God

Read: Jeremiah 29:10-14

Have you ever felt homesick? What about abandoned? Alone? Forgotten? Jeremiah was writing a letter to people who were probably feeling all of those things.

This passage is part of a letter to Jewish exiles, taken in captivity from their homes to Babylon. They weren’t taken there for no reason – the Babylonian exile and siege in Jerusalem were God’s judgment on Israel for their grievous idolatry and sin. But throughout this book that details God’s wrath and judgment, we see glimmers of His great mercy, love, and hope.

Through this letter, God gives His captive people promises that they can hope in and hold on to through this time of exile.

First, He promises them deliverance. The consequences of their sin would last for a time, but in His mercy – they would not last forever.

Then, He promised them that His plans for them were good. This didn’t mean that they were exempt from sufferings. It meant that their sufferings had a purpose and an eventual end. Then the best promise of all – a future and a hope. Yes, this future and hope pointed to the time of deliverance from the Babylonians, but it ultimately pointed to when we would be delivered from our sins. This promised future and hope was Jesus Christ himself.

God then promised them that if they sought Him with all their heart, He would be found by them. He was reminding them that even in this foreign place, where I’m sure they felt abandoned and forgotten, He was with them. He was close. He would be found by them, if only they would seek wholeheartedly.

And lastly, He promised them restoration. The exile would one day be over, and they would be restored to the Promised Land.

We too are in a kind of exile. We too are in a foreign land, waiting and wishing to go home. And we too can hold on to these promises given to exiles. We can know that God promises to work everything for our good – not necessarily keeping us from suffering, but working through our suffering (Romans 8:28). We have a future and a hope in the resurrected Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3-7). We have God with us always through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). And we have the promise of deliverance from this world and complete restoration in heaven (Revelation 21:1-5).

As we live in this in-between, may we hold on to these promises and patiently endure. Because this exile won’t last forever – the day is coming when we will be delivered and all will be restored. The day is coming when our future and our hope is not something we look forward to, but something we live in. Hallelujah.

Which of these promises do you need to hold on to the most in this time of waiting?