Day 12

The Coming Exile

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 15:1-21, Jeremiah 16:1-21, Exodus 15:2-3, Luke 11:45-52

BY Kaitlin Wernet

Last weekend, I tried to fly to Chicago during the biggest blizzard they’ve had all year—key word here being tried. To be fair, I knew snow was in the forecast, but I also assumed that it was always in the forecast, and therefore, just another Friday in the Windy City. This is one of those areas where people who live in cold-weather states get all puffy in their parkas and tell those of us who live in the blessed South, “Relax. We know how to deal with this. We have snow plows!”

After arriving at the airport at an appropriately early time and confirming my flight’s “on time” status, I was relaxed. But just as I joined the line for coffee to pass the time before boarding, I got the dreaded text: My flight had been “cancelled.”

There’s a unique shade of panic when it comes to flight plans becoming totally derailed. You begin with a detailed, minute-by-minute itinerary of how exactly you’ll get from point A to point B, and then one small malfunction, or not-so-small storm, comes along and forces you to watch each well-planned step unravel before your very eyes.

The Israeilites knew what it was like to not have things go according to plan. Today’s reading recalls their deliverance by God from Egypt, which is the central act of redemption in the Old Testament. Throughout Scripture, God continues to remind His people of His promise-keeping trustworthiness and steadfast character, but Jeremiah 16 predicts a turbulent journey ahead for God’s people: their coming exile.

“However, look, the days are coming… when it will no longer be said,
‘As the LORD lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt,’ but rather,
‘As the LORD lives who brought the Israelites from the land of the north
and from all the other lands where he had banished them.’
For I will return them to their land that I gave to their ancestors” (Jeremiah 16:14–15).

A reroute doesn’t disqualify you from ending up where you’re supposed to be. In the case of the Israelites, who I imagine probably just wanted to end up somewhere safe, God didn’t just get them from point A to point B; He gave them freedom, releasing them from captivity and slavery, and brought them home.

God’s plan isn’t just to redirect us—it’s to redeem and restore us. He may not provide a step-by-step itinerary or a packing list, but I do believe that if we read the pages of Scripture and remember who He has been to us in the past, we get something even more important: a picture of His character. We don’t need to know the inclement weather plan or be reminded to put on our own air masks before assisting someone else. We just need to know who is in charge. And that is more than enough.

Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "The Coming Exile"

  1. Audria L. says:

    Can someone explain what Miss Wernet meant by the last 2 lines of the devotional?
    “We don’t need to know the inclement weather plan or be reminded to put on our own air masks before assisting someone else. We just need to know who is in charge. And that is more than enough.”
    Thank you!

    And praise God for being merciful to unworthy sinners like us!

  2. Hayley Walker says:

    I so agree Sue, that is what stuck out for me. And that A reroute doesn’t disqualify us from where we are meant to be. Such helpful words in a season of stormy change and when it all feel upside down!

  3. Stephie Gray says:

    I spend a lot of time worrying and trying to control how things go. I know it’s useless and it doesn’t do me any good – I’m just wasting my energy because nothing in life can really be controlled – but I still can’t talk myself out of worrying. Perhaps I should just remind myself that God is in charge. He’s got a plan. He will take care of me. All I need to do is have faith and trust in Him.

  4. Susan Crosby says:

    With all that’s going on in the world today…viruses, stock market crashes, political strife, trouble in some denominations, anxiety and fear, and numerous other stuff…the last sentence written by Kaitlin is so timely…we need to know who is in charge and that is enough. Thank God He’s in charge❤️

  5. Melissa Mcronney says:

    We need to spend time with God to understand, and ask God to open our minds to this.. amen…powerful

  6. Erin R. says:

    Amarose,
    I pray that Godly people whom you respect and who know your situation will be placed in your life to advise you as you make life decisions. I also pray that your heart and mind will be open to their council and that you will be able to make hard choices If you need to. Just remember what you know about God and about His plans for His people and pray that He will show you what decisions fall inside that plan. He has a plan for us all, and the easier path is generally not the one that is His path. Hold your boyfriend to the same standards that God calls you to as well.

  7. A B says:

    I struggle with the lack of God’s mercy in Jeremiah. I’m reminded that his ways are not our ways, and some things will always – on this side of heaven – be beyond my understanding. And yet, I seek the Lord. I trust that he is with me, guiding me where I’m supposed to be.

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