Hi church family
‘Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers you will prosper’ Jeremiah 29:7
This should be an encouragement to pray for our city Manukau and NZ but the background of this is more amazing.
God had just sent the Israelites into captivity to Babylon for 70 years. The Babylonians are an evil demonic empire that had come and destroyed Jerusalem smashed all their babies against the city walls and marched the Jews 800 miles to Babylon. There every day they were reminded that the god of Babylon had defeated the God of Israel. God tells them to pray and seek the peace of that that city. There was no deliverance coming for 70 years. Even the false prophets were prophesying that God was about to come deliver them. Imagine being a 30 or 40 year hearing the words you are going to be there 70 years. You were going to die there. No deliverance in your life time.
God wanted to them to be faithful to Him in that place. Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego were among them and scholars all agree they would have been castrated because they served in the Kings court. Imagine that, there future gone of having family etc They would have had a right to be bitter but God calls them to remain faithful and not compromise their faith and pray for Babylon. They had their name changed .Daniel was called Belteshazzar which is a name of one Babylon’s gods. The closest translation we have would be prince of demons. They remain faithful to God even facing death to the point eventually the Babylonian King a became a believer in the God of Israel. God calls us to be faithful in an ever increasing hostile and pagan culture without compromise. Are we up to it?