God reminded the Jews held captive in Babylon, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
God gave the captive Jews some specific things to do while waiting for their expected end:
God allowed the Jews to suffer the consequences of their choice to live apart from Him. Their selfishness and pride caused them to either be driven from their homeland or to suffer famine in their once thriving, now land of hunger. Regardless of the individual situations, there was always a corporate hope for God’s chosen people. The Jews who suffered as a result of their sin could not revoke God’s promises for blessing or punishment. God was still with them, guiding them. It was their choice whether or not to abide in and obey God or further disregard Him and His commands.
Likewise, it is our choice to embrace or reject God’s guidance. Either way, we will live with the direct and indirect results of our choices. Our disobedience never erases God’s promises but keeps us from them, and oppositely, our obedience opens the door for us to experience God’s blessings as fully as He designed.
Some things to understand about the Babylonian Exile: