4. “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 5. ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce[. 6. ‘Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 7. ‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’
I heard it said once that as believers we are to grow where we’re planted because that’s where God waters us. God had allowed the people of Israel to be exiled into a foreign country. Instead of longing to be somewhere else, God spoke to them and commanded them to treat their new land as their home. The influence of God’s people in a land that did not acknowledge Him was needed. Much like today. As individuals and churches, we have been placed in this land where we live so that we may be a light and an influence to the lost. We are to pray for the people around us. We are to pray for the city in which we love. When the city and the people around us prosper as a result of the gospel, we will prosper as God’s people. Not until. Let’s not long for somewhere else. Instead, let’s grow where God has planted us.