I went back up to the first part of the chapter. Jeremiah starts out explaining who he was sending the letter to the remainder of the elders who were carried away captive - to the priests, the prophets, and all the people Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon. So, I read the chapter again with new eyes.
Jeremiah first offered some instruction for those in captivity. Sometimes, caregiving can seem like captivity. We cannot always go places we'd like to go or do things we like to do. Even simple things like getting groceries, coffee with friends, or going to a movie just can't happen. If we are able to get out, it's not as simple or spontaneous as just jumping in the car. It can be pretty complicated. It's easy to feel confined.
Here's what Jeremiah told those who had been carried away into their captivity. He said:
- take wives - get married
- have children
- let your kids get married
- increase and not decrease
- seek the peace of the city
- pray for your city
- know the true word of the Lord