To tree or not to tree
“You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. [Jerusalem]
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.
Jeremiah 16:2 - 29-7 [ESV]
It's obvious - both verses are addressed to the same people, yet in totally different situations.
The first one goes to the people in Jerusalem, living there right before the exile. Jeremiah got to tell them, not to procreate. We often have a mentatlity like that, saying "The world is lost, there is war all around. Why should I have a family and kids?"
We form that opinion in our mind and a few chapters later we read the second part I qouted from Jeremiah: Have kids!!!
The other day on a youth conference for students from bavaria the preacher referred to Jeremiah 29 and took it to our context. He tried to apply it to today's culture. In this he seemed to neglect Jeremiah 16.
Maybe what we have to do is figure out what situation we are in right now, and then apply the right version of God's command. I think however, we'd much rather ask God to show us what to do today - for how can we really figure out what is going to happen to this world and much more important, when it is going to happen?
For me the question stays the same: Plant gardens or not - To tree or not to tree?
Simeon: Um Uwe Heimowski nochmal direkt zu zitieren: "Wer Bäume pflanzt denkt an die Zukunft", investiere selbst wenn du die Frucht nicht ernten kannst. (Verzeihung, falls es aus dem Kontext genommen ist.)