Seeking the welfare of your city or country

Last updated on December 2, 2021

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 find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29:7)

When the Israelites were living in exile, they had only one desire: to return to their own country. They were not comfortable in Babylon and they did not want to stay there. However, God told them that they were to live there for 70 years. They had no choice but to settle in Babylon. The prophet Jeremiah told the people in God’s Name to seek the peace and prosperity of the city where they were living against their will. For, he said, if the city prospers, you too will prosper.

In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul says something similar. He exhorts his fellow believers to pray for kings and all who are in high positions, “that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:1-2). These people were living in the Roman empire and many were persecuted for their faith by the emperor and his officials.

Both the Israelite exiles and the early church were living under oppressive regimes. They did not feel “at home” there. But they nevertheless had to seek the welfare of their city and government.

Do you feel safe and comfortable where you live? And do you pray for the peace and prosperity of your city and country?

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