"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were car-
ried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jeru-
salem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit."
Instead of seeking to destroy the Babylonian culture to which the Ju-
dean captives were taken, Jeremiah, under God's direct inspiration, encourages them to build-up the Chaldean society. To many of the captives this instruction must have grated against them: they would rather be terrorists in their enemies' land, than to be assets to it.
The same is true of the church today. We are the only rightful "own-
ers" of the earth, under Jesus--and we are to be a blessing to every community in which we live--even if, for the present, it appears to be under the control of the devil and his minions.
[Puritan quote of the day: "In all the comfortable providences of your lives, eye God as the Author or Donor of them." --John Flavel, in, "The Mystery of Providence"]