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God in the Past and Present

Today's Devotional

I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. Jeremiah 29:10

It had been years since we left the Oregon town where we raised our family. We’d made great memories there, and the recent visit reminded me of moments I’d forgotten: our girls’ soccer games, our old home, church gatherings, and our friends’ Mexican restaurant. The town had changed, but there was enough of the familiar to spark my desire to return for a visit. 

When the Israelites went into exile in Babylon, they missed the familiarity of people, landmarks, and culture. They forgot they’d been exiled for rebelling against God. When false prophets told the exiles they’d return home within two years (Jeremiah 28:2-4; 29:8-9), they found a receptive audience. It was easy to listen to the slick words of false prophets who promised a return home soon.

God didn’t take kindly to these peddlers of the past and their false promises. “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you,” He said (29:8). He had plans for His people, “plans to give [them] hope and a future” (v. 11). The situation was challenging, difficult, and new, but God was with them. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart,” He told them (v. 13). God would bring them “back to the place from which I carried you into exile” (v. 14), but in His timing.

Nostalgia plays tricks on the mind, making it easy to long for what once was. Don’t miss what God is doing right now. He will fulfill His promises. 

What difficulty are you facing today? How is God showing Himself faithful?

Father, may I continue to look for You in the present and not long for the past.


The prophet Jeremiah ministered during the reign of Judah’s last five kings: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoichin, and Zedekiah (about 640–586 bc). This was a time when false prophets abounded. Jeremiah foretold doom to the unrepentant nation, while his contemporaries assured the people of peace. These false prophets prophesied lies in God’s name. Yet God had “not sent them or appointed them” (Jeremiah 14:14). They spoke “visions from their own minds” (23:16), saying what the people longed to hear (see 2 Timothy 4:3). Jeremiah passionately delivered God’s message despite suffering greatly for it. He was thrown into prison (ch. 37) and a cistern or well (ch. 38). He was rejected by his family, friends, neighbors, false priests and prophets, and kings. Because the people didn’t listen to God’s words to turn back to Him, spoken through Jeremiah, they were captured by the Babylonians in 586 bc and were exiled for seventy years.

By |2024-05-20T02:33:11-04:00May 20th, 2024|
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