It’s Sunday in April. What were your plans for today?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
The other day, we jumped to beginning of the Exile. The entire Old Testament makes so much more sense to me, when read through that lens.
I used to imagine the oral tradition as being told from generation to generation sitting around a fire as though the stories were the primary entertainment, as well as passing along identity and tradition.
Do you remember the opening scenes from The Princess Bride? The story is told in response to the boy being sick, and he would much rather play video games. The grandpa even modifies the story a few times to make it more relevant and “humor” the boy.
Imagine now the teenagers living in Exile in Babylon. They were ripped from their homes and their friends and forced to live as refugees with their families.
I’ll bet they complained.
Why? If God is so great, then why? This is stupid.
Their parents would try to give comfort and offer reassurances, but the eyes would roll.
So, grandpa would tell a story. He didn’t make it up, it was an old story that told the history and tradition of their people.
A long time ago, there lived a man named Noah. Noah was a good man who listened when God warned of a flood coming.
Noah and his family prepared, and they went into a big ark that he built, per God’s very lengthy instructions.
Then the rain started. Noah and his family and lots of animals entered the ark and they waited. Once they were on the ark, they couldn’t do much to fix the problem, they just had to wait for God to bring them through safely.
Even once the rain stopped, they had to wait. In fact, it only rained for forty days but they had to remain on that boat – together – for another ten months!
Eventually, they were able to go back out into the world, a new world that had been prepared for them while they were safe in the boat.
That old story was a reminder that God had worked through tough times before and was doing it again, right in that moment to create a new future. Their main job during that time was to wait and remain faithful.
God has worked through tough times before and is doing it again to create a new future. Our main job during this time is to wait and remain faithful.
What does it look like to be faithful in the waiting?