“Armed with a big vision of God and a passion for divine grace,” Dr. Owen Strahan this past week declared, “The world is on fire, but our God reigns. We must always remember that.”

In 1976 Francis Schaeffer wrote his classic,  How Should We Then Live, a life-changing book for many readers over the years and it’s
more relevant today than ever. This week Dr. Strahan, in his weekly podcast, The Antithesis, picks up Schaeffer’s mantle, in my view, with his timely message entitled, “Plant Gardens: On Living Like an Israelite in Babylon.”

Strahan reads from Jeremiah 29:4-7: “…thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But 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.”

Strahan’s commentary prompted much thought and soul-searching. Unlike the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day, God has not sent Christians in America into exile in Babylon, but He has brought the modern equivalent to America. Note well that God spoke through Jeremiah “…to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile.” They did not get there by accident, they got there by God’s design–He sent them. Like 21st century America, Israel compromised its faith and incurred God’s judgment.

Our Babylonian exile means hard times for us, too, but it’s our Sovereign God’s plan for the sanctification of His chosen. As the Apostle Paul told the Romans, all things work together for the glory of God and the good of God-lovers, even the bitter medicine we wayward children earn along the way. If we are to remain salt and light in this increasingly pagan nation, it is of utmost importance to be a part of a Bible-believing church that does not compromise its faith with the culture. If that is not your church, find another. The pandemic of “cultural relevance” that’s been sweeping liberal Christianity for the last century has led to irrelevance and apostasy. There is  no other way to prevail, even thrive against the gates of hell than as a part of the one true church–the remnant–discipling fellow believers, holding one another up in prayer and joyfully, corporately exalting our Risen Savior Jesus Christ under sound uncompromised, unapologetic Gospel preaching. In our Sovereign God’s plan we’ll also draw lost souls, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to see and savor the salt and light of the only safe refuge in a world aflame.

Pray for the welfare of America, “…pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” The stakes could not be higher. The devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking the ruin of souls, and he’s on a roll in 21st century America. Then cultivate your garden and don’t stress over what’s beyond the reach of your hoe. God’s got that part of the plan as well. He is the God of Providence at every level, and your times–the total ordering of your life–are in His hands, Christian (Psalm 31:15). Rest in that. Therein is the peace that passes all understanding.

Please find 30 minutes to listen to Dr. Strahan’s podcast entitled, “Plant Gardens: On Living Like an Israelite in Babylon.” His practical life application of this scripture is just excellent for our times.

See you in church


  1. Paul Says:

    Thanks for this terrific message, JD.

    Sent from my iPhone



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