Background: The prophet Jeremiah spoke for 42 years to Judah (God’s people). His prophetic witness spanned over the reigns of 5 kings. Sadly, most of his words urging them to repent and turn back to God went unheeded and Judah was eventually taken into captivity by the Babylonians.
After the King and most of God’s people had been taken into captivity to Babylon, Jeremiah, sent them a letter. He told them to do some things that surprised everyone.
Ask the children…
What did Jeremiah tell God’s people to do while in captivity?
“Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. 6 Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! 7 And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:5-7)
God asked to build homes in Babylon to show their trust in God that they would be there for 70 years but also because it would enable them to be a blessing to Babylon which was all part of God’s plan. What did God promise the people regarding their captivity? What did God tell the people about His plans for them?
“’You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jeremiah 29:10, 11)
Even when things look really bad, God still has a good plan in mind for each of us. Our part is to trust Him for the next step and to live with the hope that everything will turn out for our good just the way God planned it.
Ask your children what difficult things are happening in their lives right now? Ask them if they believe God could make even these circumstances turn out for their good? Pray with them a prayer declaring their trust in God’s plan and their willingness to “build homes in Babylon” during this difficult time to show their trust in God.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.