- Pathfinder

Reply To: Analyze one of the supplementary Bible passages in light of the course content. Do you see evidence of the Hebraic map? Did anything about the passage surprise you? Was there any part of the passage that stuck out to you in particular?

Kaitlyn Tully

Jeremiah 29 is filled with references to the Hebrew map. It is rooted in the concept of exile, of a people who are trapped in between the duality of their previous nation and God’s promise of restoration. Yet, Jeremiah does not simply encourage the Israelites to look towards the future. He does not tell them to simply keep hoping for the LORD. No, he specifically tells them to act in the present. In verses 5-6, he effectively tells them to act as though they are still in Israel. He tells them to continue to follow God’s original commands to Adam and Eve. The Israelites are to continue to take dominion even in Babylon. They are to continue to be fruitful and multiply. They are not to simply stop and hope the LORD will restore them to Israel soon.

Jeremiah does not even tell them to work towards regaining Israel. Instead, the Israelites are told to “seek the welfare of the city where [the LORD has] sent [them] into exile” (Jeremiah 29:7, NRSV-CE). As someone who is constantly discouraged with the state of the United States and politics today, that verse completely struck me. I often find myself wanting to simply give up on the world around me, to decide that there’s nothing I can do to fix it. Injustice is simply part of the world, right? Who am I to decide what is just? (Oh, the sheer irony of this reflection as I consider my decision to apply to law schools). But God commands us to continue to work for welfare. Like the Israelites, we are not to simply give up on the world surrounding us. Rather, we are to take the advice of the prophets, to “seek justice” and “love mercy” (Micah 6:8, NRSV-CE). As leaders, we cannot simply wait for the Kingdom, hoping it will come soon. God calls us to act. He calls us to promote change in the world around us, seeking justice as much as possible.