So, I am reading Jeremiah 29:11, which says
‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.’
What was your favorite class in school? Was it history?
History is important. We should know that. Unfortunately for me, I did not like reading or studying history in school. It has been later in my life that I have taken a real interest in history.
We are told that ‘Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.’ The original quote read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Either way, history is important. Right?
Jeremiah 29:11-13 are widely read, widely quoted and very popular verses. I know many people ‘claim’ these verses as a promise from God to bless their life with a future and a hope.
However, some would say that if you look at the context of this verse, it would seem many folks take these verses out of context.
Read what comes just before and after these verses.
8 ¶ “For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream.
9 ‘For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the LORD.
10 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
12 ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 ‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 ‘I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
Jeremiah chapter 29 is an historical account of the Israelites in exile
So, if we don’t know this historical account, and most people don’t, are we doomed to repeat it?
Read this partial quote from the popular Bible study website Crosswalk .com, regarding these verses.
“Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out of Context! “…the Israelites were in exile, punishment from God as result of their disobedience. The prophet Jeremiah confronts the false prophet, Hananiah, who had boldly proclaimed that God was going to free Israel from Babylon in two years.
“Jeremiah calls out Hananiah’s lie and then states the promise in 29:11. The thing is, before he shares this promise, he gives them this directive from God: “seek the peace and the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (29:7)”
Here is this blogger’s take-away or ‘lesson to be learned’ from these verses:
“Yes, of course, God knows the plans He has for us. And ultimately He will give us a glorious future. But as we walk out our lives on this crazy earth, let’s remember that the best growth comes through persevering through trials, not escaping them entirely. And when we learn perseverance, we find surprising joy.
What hard thing are you currently going through? In the midst of your suffering, cling to Jeremiah 29:11, but cling to it for the right reason: not in the false hope that God will take away your suffering, but in the true, gospel confidence that he will give you hope in the midst of it.”
The author and blogger, Mary Demuth, has a point. Just maybe, sometime your situation in life may mirror the exile of the Israelites into Babylon.
(But, I doubt it, and you’d better hope not. You should read up on it. It was an ancient holocaust.)
And, taking her point of view presupposes that these verses apply only when
- you have been sent into exile of some sort,
- you will suffer God’s wrath as punishment for being disobedient! And,
- for this disobedience, you are suffering extreme trials, troubles and tribulation similar to a holocaust!
If you view the book of Jeremiah strictly as a history lesson of exile and the moral of the ‘story’ is taken strictly in this historical context, then too bad for you, because THERE’S HOPE.
The Word of God is Eternal! It is written for all people of all ages, who believe on Him and call on Him.
WE ARE GRAFTED IN AS GOD’S OWN PEOPLE
We are not under the old covenant. We are under the New Covenant which is written in the Blood Of Christ. Jesus’ finished Work gives us an escape, give us strength, gives us True Hope.
We, being a wild olive, a gentile, were grafted in among them, the Israelites, the Jews, God’s Own People, and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree. Sufferings not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us
Yes, troubles will come. But listen to the words of Paul about present suffering and future glory, who suffered greatly, not from disobedience, but Paul shared in the sufferings of Christ for his obedience:
Romans 8:18 “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 thath the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to son ship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
Also hear the Words of the Psalmist:
A real and Present Hope
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
3Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
5God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
A Promise of Deliverance
Psalm 34: 11 “Come, O children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 What man is there who desires life
and loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Turn away from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.”
15 “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous
and his ears toward their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.”
19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”
Both Present and Future HOPE in Jesus.
Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake,
30 “but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.”
So, yes, Jeremiah 29:11 is both Promise and a Hope for us today! Spend time in His Word making it your word. Not only to “live by it” but to have “His Word Living In You”!!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
By the Word and the Will of God, let’s all make this a great day in the Lord! Amen & Amen!
Your Brother and Friend,