Who gave a crap if he was a prophet? His words were so terrible that there was no way they came from God. At least not their God. He and his prophecies must be from Beezlebub, because only the devil would be so cruel.
She waited for him on the bench just outside her door. She lifted her gaze from the orange dust and dirt at her feet whenever she heard the steady plod of an approaching person to see if her beloved had finally come. It seemed that it was always an older lady going to the well at the other side of town. Children from the area barely gave her any notice as they chased each other around in the field next to her house. When he came, he would take her hand and they would meander through that field. The kids would giggle and point at them. Fortunately, she didn’t mind the attention.
That was home. She always waited patiently for him. He loved to see her eyes when he showed up, they betrayed the delight that her words never seemed to express. This place wasn’t like that. The only anticipation they had was a vague feeling that perhaps someday, they’d get to go home. Hopefully someday soon. That’s why Jeremiah’s words were so awful. Live life? Here? Take a wife? Not if it wasn’t her. This place is hell. Build houses and plant gardens? They all preferred to sulk to express their extreme displeasure at being in this God-forsaken place.
Worry had set in. He was never late, his excitement typically brought him around early. He had once confessed that every moment without her made it more difficult to stay at his parents’ house so he had to leave, and once on the road he almost had to run to keep the anticipation from killing him. She didn’t know that he was gone and that she would never see him again.
Her memory no longer brought about a joyous expectancy. Rather, her form carried sorrow with it. His plan of a wonderful life had been interrupted by the Babylonians. They carried him off, making it impossible to discover where she had gone. She might only be a few miles away, but he’d never find out in this mess.
That Jeremiah, he said that they wouldn’t be going anywhere for a long time. He also claimed that God wanted to give them a future and a hope. By leaving them to rot with a bunch of barbaric men who had completely different standards and who barely allowed them to live as their traditions would have dictated? Why would God do something like that? It didn’t go along with His previous words.
Jeremiah told Israel to live in spite of their circumstances. He knew that God had not forgotten, nor had he forsaken His people. They needed to suffer a little though, because they were so unfaithful. They never realized that they were fortunate to be able to build houses, take wives and have families. At other times, there were no captives. The people were slaughtered. Killed on the spot, but God had made it so that his chosen would live. If they didn’t want to. . . well. . . they had a lot to learn.
God isn’t a liar, but sometimes, He is kind of slow. His timing isn’t the same as ours; how could it be? He lives outside of time. It’s during these times that in spite of our unanswered expectation, His desire is for us to live life. He even wants us to know that He has other plans for us. Even if it is in a place that we might think of as being hellish.
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