Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏩ ⏹️
Image in the public domain
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
— Jeremiah 29:11-13
These words are from the letter Jeremiah wrote to the residue of the elders which were carried away captives1 to Babylon. Sharing God's word, he advises them to settle in, to Build ye houses...and plant gardens...Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters...And seek the peace of the city2. In other words, accept this gift of captivity, for great things will emerge.
By asking his people to be quiet, God hopes for a reassessment of their relationship to Him, and makes the promise that if they honestly seek Him, He will hearken unto them. God is asking for renewed seeking, the opposite of taking for granted. Those that subjected to captivity were ready to try again. Those that stayed behind, defiant, were not, preferring to trust themselves, and their various other beliefs than to trust God.
It's rather the same these days, as religion falls out of fashion. Lacking formal structures to stay connected to a purpose greater than self, people start looking in other places to find meaning: astrology, numerology, mindfulness, chanting, psychoanalysis, joining cults, seeking charismatic leaders, and so on, none of which seem to work for anything more than the short term. Sometimes it seems we are seeking in all the wrong places, perhaps because we look too desperately. God asks His people to be still—for seventy years—in order to learn how to seek. Perhaps if we stayed still for seventy minutes, or even seventy seconds we may learn something important about seeking God.
1 Jeremiah 29:1
2 Jeremiah 29:5,6,7