Jeremiah 30:10-11 and 46:27-28 “Therefore fear not O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for lo, I will save thee from afar and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
Jeremiah the prophet, God’s servant, is speaking to the nation of Israel, the seed (descendants) of Jacob, who are now in captivity in Babylon because of their failure to keep the Sabbath years, 70 of them to be exact. It is God’s promise to remember His covenant with Jacob. From freedom to slavery and God says do not be afraid? Yes, He is telling these exiles He will return the children of Israel not only to freedom but to the land He gave to them-the Promised Land-Israel and Judah. He says not to be afraid because (that is what “the therefore is there for” to quote the Preacher again): HE will break the yoke off the necks of His oppressed people, HE will tear off their bonds, HE will allow no foreigners to enslave His people anymore! AND HE will bring an end to all other nations but God’s people will be SAVED. He repeated this verbatim twice! This is something He desperately wants us to know.
Did everyone who was hauled off into captivity fail to keep God’s directions? I don’t think so. Some were sounding the alarm to return to God, to follow His commandments, to worship Yahweh, but ALL were marched to Babylon. Jerusalem was left in ruins.
Do you find yourself in some form of captivity not of your own making? Listen to the heart of God–He desires for His people to live in freedom, not bondage. He promises to rescue, redeem, restore your situation. Will you live to see it? Maybe not. Does that mean He didn’t rescue the situation? No. His timing is perfect. Your prayers matter. He may not break your bondage but he may destroy the generational curse because of your faithfulness to pray, to seek God, to sound the alarm, and to BELIEVE! God is true to His Word. He keeps His promises. He never goes back on His word.
Bobbi Wolgemuth, a gifted writer, musician, and painter, was suffering with cancer and after a valiant battle she died. But this is what she wrote about her “captivity to cancer,” a circumstance beyond her control.
“Just as chemotherapy is designed to kill the bad cancer cells; God designs a toxic, painful trial to destroy and starve and kill anything in my soul that is selfish, unholy, or offensive to Him. I willingly surrender to His infusion knowing that He has chosen what ultimately will bring me more abundant life. More abundant life than I can ever imagine. So, I choose to open my hands and my heart and offer my veins to be infused with His choice of trial so that I may receive His beauty and perfect health.”
Read the book of Daniel. Daniel was one of the Jews hauled off to Babylon. His life was a testimony to this kind of grace and faith in spite of overwhelming circumstances. He served the king of Babylon with wisdom and courage and the LORD used his life as an eternal testimony to the truth of Scripture–God is faithful to His word, He keeps His promises, He rescues His children. We have no need to be fearful or confused when life takes an unexpected turn for the “worse.” God will take the worst of circumstances and use them with precision to mold us into images of grace. He WILL give us His rest, His peace, and His security. He will use us to proclaim good news to the captives and spread hope among the children.
Are you in captivity–circumstances beyond your control–been hauled off into a place you never dreamed you would be? Thank the Father for His presence there with you in this captivity. Thank Him that He will rescue you and those you love from this bondage and make you “portraits of grace.” These are days of uncertainty in our country. We too may be hauled off into bondage but we need not fear or be confused for the LORD will accompany His children and He will have a plan to rescue us! Romans 8:35-39 is a verse to memorize and declare:
Romans 8:35-39 (NIV)
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Adrift in the boat awaiting rescue,