Have you given up on something God promised? Have you turned back to things of this world, accepting less than God’s best because it was just too hard? After listing all the places that had been conquered and allotted to Judah, this chapter wraps up with this in verse 63: “But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.”
But wait. DIdn’t God say He would drive out the inhabitants? Didn’t He say He would give victory?
He did and He would. But He didn’t give a timeframe and this promise was not unconditional. God had instructed the Israelites that He would go before them and drive out the inhabitants of the land, IF they would obey His law. The Israelites didn’t fully obey God. They gave up. They settled in with the Jebusites and assumed that God would not do what He had said.
Yet He still honored His promise a few generations later when David came along. God used David to rout the Jebusites from the city that came to be referred to as the City of David. God’s promises aren’t dependent on our behavior, but our personal experience of the blessings of those promises is. God is going to do what He has said He will do, but we may not get to see it, experience it, or enjoy it if we fail to trust in Him.
What are you tired of waiting for? Maybe it’s the spouse you desire. Or the career you felt called to that hasn’t quite panned out. Maybe it is a ministry that proved more daunting than you anticipated or a marriage that is more work than you’d imagined. Maybe it is victory over an area of sin in your life that seems to hibernate and then rear its head again when you least expect it. Are you ready to give up and settle on something less than God’s best? Or will you push on, pressing in to closer relationship with the One who has made the promise, the One who will drive out every enemy and give victory over every foe. The One who declares, “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
At the time God made this declaration to the prophet, Jeremiah was in exile in Babylon. Verse eleven is often quoted, but seldom is the preceding verse included: “For this is what the Lord says: “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place.”