The Ministries of our Church
Spotlight 6 2 2012
Happy Sabbath, Berean! In our last “Spotlight” the children of Israel had lost all hope. As they were reeling from the thought of the inevitable future that awaited them, God sent them a message on what to do while captives: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens . . . Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it . . .” Jeremiah 29:5-7. I doubt that was the message the people wanted to hear. But they did have choices. They could willingly submit to 70 years of captivity OR die by the sword, famine or pestilence. Hmmm...maybe building houses, planting gardens, marrying and having babies, and praying for the city of their captivity wasn’t so bad after all. But they would not be free.
Captivity is not something that appeals to the human heart. There is something inside of us that screams to be free—to choose our own destiny, to decide how and where to live our lives, to live free or die trying. Sounds noble and brave— EXCEPT when God says that captivity is our lot, our fate. How does a proud heart submit to a decree that violates the “free” spirit of the soul? Itʼs by accepting God’s will with a humble heart, or as one writer said, “Acceptance with joy.” God had tempered His judgment with mercy. Even though His people were going into captivity, they would have homes, they would plant and eat of their own gardens, and they would marry and have children. And God promised to bring them back to their own land at the end of the 70 years. Verse 10. It’s amazing the lengths God will go to save His people!
Berean, let’s make sure that our children are taught to obey God so that they can avoid the captivity of sin and its punishment. We can do this by supporting Christian education. Let’s place our love gifts in the baskets that are brought to us by the children at Offering time or in a tithe envelope (indicate amount on the Education/Scholarship line). God bless.