Thus, says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon… Jeremiah 29:4
We were sitting on the Watchtower Cliff looking out at a beautiful valley, when a spider the size of a tangerine started crawling on my leg. As calm as I could, I told my kids to carefully go to their mom (who wisely stayed a few feet back from the edge). They complained, begrudgingly moved, and with a quick flick the spider was dispatched 4,000 feet down the cliff. My kids had no idea the spider was there; they had no idea that a scare might have sent one of us down the cliff instead of the spider! We often have a limited view and need a little help seeing the bigger picture.
The Israelites sometimes forgot the bigger picture. They forgot how much God cared for them, how He guided them, and how He knew exactly what they needed. Imagine being uprooted (NOT BY CHOICE!) and placed somewhere foreign. Being exiled would bring fear, anger, frustration, and naturally we would want to blame someone or something. The Israelites who were exiled pointed their fingers of blame towards Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. I would have blamed him as well!
That is why God’s statement in Jeremiah 29:4 stands out, … the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent … God was correcting their understanding and told them that in His authority, He had sent or carried them into exile. Of course, Nebuchadnezzar was involved in the exile, but it was God who had ultimate authority. If God is doing something there is always a reason! God’s plan has a purpose that is always bigger than we see. Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding … reminds us that we can trust God’s authority always. Since God is sovereign, He chose to send His own Son to die for us so that we can trust our life with His rule.
Jesus came for us so we could trust Him as our king. We can trust our life to His rule, even when it doesn’t make sense to us. I can relate to the exiles and their frustration, but I have learned to pause and seek Jesus in those moments. When I am frustrated with life’s circumstances, I ask a couple of questions. Jesus, where am I not letting you rule? Where or what am I hiding from you? Maybe asking Jesus a few questions can help you see the bigger picture.
Jesus please rule over my life and let me trust in you always, Amen.