Bob Dylan wrote it, and Simon and Garfunkel recorded it in 1964. They were right; “The times, they are a changin’.” And, wow, have they changed even since then. Those of us who grew up in the 1950s (especially those of us from the South) are living in a completely different culture today.
How is a Christian to live in a culture that often seems opposed to one’s personal standards of faith, behavior, and morality?
The people of Jeremiah’s day faced the same problem. Because they had forsaken God, their homeland was destroyed and they were taken captive by the Babylonians. How in the world could they exist in a foreign and ungodly culture?
God gives Jeremiah the words to give the people in Jeremiah 29. God’s will was that they exist in the culture like the people of the land. Build houses, get married, have children, seek the welfare of the city and pray for it. Furthermore, they were not to pay attention to the false prophets of the culture.
God continues, “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”
Yes, God still has plans, good plans, for his people. Let’s join together as we try to pay more attention to him, dwell in the land, pray for it, and seek him wholeheartedly.
“Shine, Jesus shine, fill this land with the father’s glory.
Blaze, spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow, flood the nations with grace and mercy.
Send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light!”
— Graham Kendrick, 1988
Bruce Henderson is pastor of Airport Road Church of Christ.