We are living in unprecedented times filled with depression, division, destruction, and delusion. This is so foreign to many of us. In one year, our everyday norms and dearly held beliefs were changed and challenged. Last year became a foreign land and it was devastating. Hope began fading. Families began dividing. Hospitals began filling to capacity. People began isolating. Churches began closing. Friendships began ending. A strange land indeed.
It seems very similar, in my mind, to the exile that the people of Jerusalem faced when in Babylon.
They understood that they had been defeated by the Babylonians and exiled from their homeland because of their sin, but what were they to do now? How should they live out their lives in this foreign land? As they sat down and wept by the rivers of Babylon, they asked, in Psalm 137, “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:1-4).
I bet you are asking that question. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land? How can we stay encouraged in a foreign land? How can we proclaim God is Good in these times? Well, we can be like the prophet Jeremiah who in chapter 29:4-14 of the book bearing his name, addressed a group of exiled Israelites who were tempted to lose hope.
The Israelites had forgotten that even though they were exiled from their land, they were not exiled from their God. Even though the situation looked dire, they were not exiled from their God. Even though the situation looked dim, they were not exiled from their God!!
God said, “I want you to live. I want you to seek me. I want you to pray. I have not forgotten you; in fact I have a plan for you and it is good.”
God is good and as Romans 8:28 says, He makes all things work out for our good!
God had a plan for the Israelites and he has a plan for us. His plan was to prosper them and not harm them to give them a hope and a future. God’s plan is the same for us in these foreign times we live.
It worked out for good for Isaac though he faced death.
It worked out for good for Joseph though he was separated, sold, enslaved and imprisoned.
It worked for good for Moses though he faced death as an infant.
It worked for good for David though he faced a giant.
It worked for good for Rahab, though she faced extinction.
It worked for good for Mary, though she faced scorn, shame, ridicule, and death.
It worked for good for Jesus, though he suffered crucifixion.
All of these people were in foreign lands. Foreign Situations. Foreign Times.
And they were able to sing the Lord’s song. Why?
Because He had a plan then and they saw it work out for their good. God hasn’t changed. So, we too can sing the Lord’s song in this foreign land and foreign times. He has a plan that we might not understand, but what we can count on this every time….
He. Will. Work. Out. EVERY. THING. For. Our. Good! God is just good like that. In fact, I’ve tasted him and I can tell you he is not only good, but Umm, Umm Good!
As I’ve heard all while growing up and believe with every fiber of my being now…
GOD IS GOOD … ALL THE TIME … AND … ALL THE TIME … GOD IS GOOD!
Now go! Sing your song and sing it loud!