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Quiet Time in Jeremiah 29

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

Jeremiah 29 (HCSB)

Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles

1 This is the text of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exiles, the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had deported from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2 This was after King Jeconiah, the queen mother, the court officials, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metalsmiths had left Jerusalem. 3 The letter was sent by Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah whom Zedekiah king of Judah had sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The letter stated:

4 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says to all the exiles I deported from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 “Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters to men in marriage so that they may bear sons and daughters. Multiply there; do not decrease. 7 Seek the welfare of the city I have deported you to. Pray to the Lord on its behalf, for when it has prosperity, you will prosper.”

8 For this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: “Don’t let your prophets who are among you and your diviners deceive you, and don’t listen to the dreams you elicit from them, 9 for they are prophesying falsely to you in My name. I have not sent them.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

10 For this is what the Lord says: “When 70 years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm My promise concerning you to restore you to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and places where I banished you”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “I will restore you to the place I deported you from.”

15 You have said, “The Lord has raised up prophets for us in Babylon!” 16 But this is what the Lord says concerning the king sitting on David’s throne and concerning all the people living in this city—that is, concerning your brothers who did not go with you into exile. 17 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: “I am about to send against them sword, famine, and plague and will make them like rotten figs that are inedible because they are so bad. 18 I will pursue them with sword, famine, and plague. I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth—a curse and a desolation, an object of scorn and a disgrace among all the nations where I have banished them. 19 I will do this because they have not listened to My words”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“that I sent to them with My servants the prophets time and time again. And you too have not listened.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

20 Hear the word of the Lord, all you exiles I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon. 21 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says to Ahab son of Kolaiah and to Zedekiah son of Maaseiah, the ones prophesying a lie to you in My name: “I am about to hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will kill them before your very eyes. 22 Based on what happens to them, all the exiles of Judah who are in Babylon will create a curse that says, ‘May the Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire!’ 23 because they have committed an outrage in Israel by committing adultery with their neighbors’ wives and have spoken a lie in My name, which I did not command them. I am He who knows, and I am a witness.” This is the Lord’s declaration.

24 To Shemaiah the Nehelamite you are to say, 25 “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You in your own name have sent out letters to all the people of Jerusalem, to the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah, and to all the priests, saying: 26 ‘The Lord has appointed you priest in place of Jehoiada the priest to be the chief officer in the temple of the Lord, responsible for every madman who acts like a prophet. You must confine him in the stocks and an iron collar. 27 So now, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who has been acting like a prophet among you? 28 For he has sent word to us in Babylon, claiming, “The exile will be long. Build houses and settle down. Plant gardens and eat their produce.”’”

29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Jeremiah the prophet.

A Message about Shemaiah

30 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 31 “Send a message to all the exiles, saying: This is what the Lord says concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite. Because Shemaiah prophesied to you, though I did not send him, and made you trust a lie, 32 this is what the Lord says: I am about to punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his descendants. There will not be even one of his descendants living among these people, nor will any ever see the good that I will bring to My people”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“for he has preached rebellion against the Lord.”


SIN (verse 19): I brought this up in my Real Men 300 accountability meeting last night and now I see it here in Your Scripture, Father. Throughout my faith journey in this life, I have been given solid advice by many Godly men that I have failed to listen to. Please forgive me for not listening to Your words that were spoken through men that You sent as messengers in my life, Father. Forgive me for being so stuck in my selfishness and worldly ways that I would not listen to the sound advice given by You through them. Help me to be better at listening, understanding, and embracing the words You are relaying to me through Your messengers, so that I may be able to discern what is from You and embrace those words internally.

PROMISE (verse 10): You make a promise to Your people in Jerusalem that You have not forsaken them or forgotten them. You promise them that their time in Babylon under their rule is only temporary and for their own good, so they should embrace it as it is a season they must go through before You will return them to their homeland. Thank You for staying faithful, Father, but also for knowing what is best for us in any given season of our lives. Oftentimes I do not see the “good” from You in the short-term, but I must remember that my vision is heavily limited and Yours is superior.

ATTITUDE (verses 12-14): The attitude I need help with here, Father, is full commitment of my heart to You. In these verses, the most powerful portion to me is “you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” This has been a struggle of mine for my entire faith journey thus far, Father. I often allow my own pride, stubbornness, and selfishness get in Your way in my heart. I let my past experiences from the world and from my own brokenness control how much I let You into my heart. Help me to change this attitude so that my heart fully opens for You, Father, so that when I do seek for You I do so with ALL of my heart and not just a sliver like I have in the past.

COMMAND (verses 19-20): Anytime You or really anyone tends to repeat themselves, it’s usually because what they’re saying is important and we should listen. In these two verses, You tell us three times in such a short timeframe to listen to Your words. Help me to be better at listening to Your words, Father, so that I not only gain head knowledge of Your words, but also so that I may transfer that head knowledge to my heart and fully embrace it in my life. Help me to overflow with confidence in Your words so much that those around me can be blessed by You as much as I am, Father.

EXAMPLE (verse 7): In this one verse, You give us an example to live by that I wish our world as a whole would embrace fully, but especially those claiming to be Christians. You tell us to pray for the welfare and prosperity of the government that we belong to in the moment, regardless of what the future may bring. I have often seen many Christians break ties with other Christians over things like political views or “hatred” towards a government official or something like that. Instead of coming together and praying for their country, they instead produce hatred and turmoil amongst each other over a sinner just like themselves. They hope for the failure of a President, so that their own selfish preferences and desires may be glorified and they can be shown as “right” in this moment. If the leader of our country fails, then the people of the country suffer as a result. In this verse, however, the people of Jerusalem lost the war to Babylon and were taken into custody, essentially. You told them to not only accept this fate, but to actually pray for and seek the welfare of the city they were banished to so that when it is prosperous, they too shall prosper. If they were to pray for Babylon’s failure, just as many Christians seem to do nowadays when they don’t agree with a candidate/leader, then they are essentially praying for their own failure and demise as well. Thank You for providing an example to us in a single verse of how we are to live in a country, whether we are there willingly or not, so that You are glorified through it all. Help me to keep my focus on You through all things, regardless of if I agree on someone’s politics, so that my prayers and actions are Christ-centered and not Filip-centered.

*DAILY NOTE: My heart is quite weak at times, Father, but also quite hardened due to all the pain I’ve tried to bear on my own in this life. As a result, I have locked out many people from my heart in this life, but also You. This has resulted in a LOT of bad situations, bad attitudes, and bad responses in my life which I am ashamed of. Help me to continue to soften my heart, Father. Help me to continue to also grow my heart in Your ways, Father, so that I become a better and more consistent follower of You.

*GENERAL NOTE: I always "sandwich" my quiet time with God in prayer and do it in a location that I will not have any distractions so that I can be focused on my quiet time with God. Do not worry about how short or long your journal entries are for that day's quiet time. Just focus on the actual quiet time and relational conversation with God through the Holy Spirit and His Word. The journaling is an enhancement to your quiet time conversation with God, but also to allow you to reflect on things later as you can look back on your journal entries later when you do the chapters again in the future to see how you have grown. See the FAQ for more detail on how I do my quiet time.

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