“If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.” Jer 29:7 TM
When God’s people were slaves in Babylon, He told them: “This is the Message…to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon: ‘Build houses and make yourselves at home. Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you…As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for’” (vv. 4-11 TM). There’s an important lesson here. While we’re waiting for God to turn things around for us, we need to be as productive as possible. While we’re waiting for God to work, a lot of us think we should do nothing, even though there’s plenty around for us to do. The bottom line is: We’ve become concerned about one person only—ourselves. When we mess up, the only person we tend to see is—ourselves. But God says, “While you’re waiting on me to do something good for you, start doing something good for others.” By blessing others, you open up the channel for God to come through and bless you. That’s the way it works!