As we go through this heated, nasty, hyped-up election season, do you ever feel like you’ve been exiled to another planet? Or that you’d like to be? While fiery rhetoric is not new to our democratic process, the coarseness on the campaign trail this season seems to have dropped to a new low – a world apart from the quiet and peaceful, dignified life Paul told Timothy we were to seek when he urged that “Prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions … (I Timothy2:1-2)
Jeremiah the prophet had a word for God’s people taken captive and held in exile in Babylon that has a lot of relevance for us today. Like some of our politicians, the false prophets had been sweet-talking the people with the assurance they wanted to hear: They would soon be going home. But Jeremiah made no such promise; he delivered God’s Word to the displaced Hebrews to buckle down and live as people of God where they were planted: “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce; take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray …” (29:4-7)
Jeremiah’s words sound as if they’ve been taken right out of Genesis. Although Adam and his bride would soon be cast out of the beautiful Eden and living as exiles, God’s mandate to “be fruitful and multiply” had not changed; and it is His word for us today. As in the Garden of Eden, the enemy is still prowling around in an attempt to distract and deceive us; we’re often made to feel like aliens in a world that is increasingly dismissive of all things Christian. But God is calling us to strengthen and tend to the things that make for a flourishing society – honor marriage as He designed it in the beginning; plant good seed in the hearts and minds of the next generation, so that they will in turn reflect the image and glory of God in their own marriages and families; and do good for the city where God has planted us.
Personally, the good thing coming out of this stress-filled cycle is more intentionality: more prayer and less tuning in to the endless prognostication of the news cycle; more attention being paid to platforms and proven performance than platitudes; and more passion for planting seeds in the next generation that we as a nation might have a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11) Ours is a hope not based on the promises made by the political candidates or on the hope that “our party” will be in power for the next four or eight years, but on the grace and promises of our sovereign God who even now rules over the nations and over His Kingdom for all eternity.
How and upon what are you building for the future of our society? What seeds will you plant in the hearts and minds of the next generation? Will you join us at Hidden Heart Ministry in helping women build strong marriages for their own good, the welfare of our country, and for God’s glory?