Friday, July 29, 2011

August 2, 2011 (Judges 16; Acts 20; Jeremiah 29; Mark 15)

I think it is instructive to read the letter that Jeremiah penned to the Babylonian exiles (Jer.29) while thinking through the New Testament reality that those who have chosen to align themselves with Jesus really are exiles in this world. We are exiled aliens. This world is not our home; it is not our final destination. We are just passing through (ex: Heb.11:8-11; Phil.3:20; 1 Pet.2:11). We should not live in this world as if this world were our all. Our attachment and allegiance to this world should not be what anchors us in this life. Indeed quite the opposite should be true of us. We should be so heavenly-minded that it effects all we say, think, and do here and now.
            Having said all of this, what then should be our relationship to the current land in which we are exiled? Should we all quit our jobs and go join a monastery or go climb and tree and wait for the Lord to snatch us up? Or should we belittle our country and neglect service to it since we do not ultimately belong to it? I think the obvious answer to all of these questions is “No”! Listen to Jeremiah:
            [4] “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: [5] Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. [6] Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. [7] But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
            Live normal life and serve the country where you live and while your marrying and raising and family and engaging in employment and serving your country should not take the primary place in your life, they should nevertheless find a prominent place.

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