God’s Plans for Us

Jeremiah was a prophet of God in Old Testament times. He was called of God to speak the very words of God to the people of God who were living in open rebellion against God.

The Lord told Jeremiah that it was before God formed Jeremiah in the womb of his mother that God knew him, that he had set him apart, and that he had appointed him as a prophet to the nations. But Jeremiah felt he was too young for such a calling of God and that he did not know how to speak.

But the Lord did not accept that as an answer to the call. He told Jeremiah that he must go to everyone the Lord sent him to and that he was to say whatever the Lord commanded him to say, and that he was not to be afraid of the people, for God would be with him to rescue him.

Then the Lord informed Jeremiah that the Lord was about to bring judgment against his people because of their wickedness in forsaking the Lord and in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands had made.

Jeremiah was, therefore, to stand up and say to them whatever God commanded him to say. He was not to fear them or what they might do to him or say about him. For, the Lord would give him all the strength and fortitude he needed to stand up against kings, priests and the people, and the Lord would put his words in Jeremiah’s mouth.

And he warned Jeremiah that this was going to mean being persecuted, hated, and rejected for the sake of righteousness, for he told him that the people would fight against him but that they would not overcome him for the Lord was with him and he would rescue him. [Summary of Jeremiah 1]

Jeremiah 29:10-11 ESV

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

So, the context of this passage of Scripture is that Jeremiah had done as the Lord had told him, and he had spoken God’s words to the people, warning of judgment, calling out their sins, but also calling them to repentance. If God’s people would humble themselves, pray, and turn from their wicked ways, then the Lord would forgive their sin and he would restore them.

But most of the people continued in their rebellion and in their idolatry and in their immorality and their wickedness and they rejected Jeremiah’s messages, which were the words of God, and so God did send judgment upon them, and their city was conquered, and they were taken into exile to Babylon, and this judgment was to last for 70 years.

And this is the setting for these words here in Jeremiah. This is part of a letter that Jeremiah sent to the surviving elders of the exiles, the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

They were not to resist their captivity or to rebel or to try to take matters into their own hands. They were to submit to the authorities over them, with the obvious exception of not submitting to sin or rebellion against the Lord. And they were to settle down there and build houses and have families.

And they were not to listen to the false prophets with their messages which told them that either this was not a judgment of God and that they would be rescued or that they would be rescued and that they were not going to have to endure this captivity for 70 years.

For the Lord had planned that this divine judgment on his people would last for 70 years, but that when the 70 years were completed, the Lord would deliver them, and he would bring them back to Jerusalem.

And, then we have verse 11 which is quoted often, but which is usually taken out of context and is used as a general promise for all Christians of some kind of financial prosperity and of no harm coming to any of them and of them only facing stuff that is good and nothing bad, etc.

But that isn’t what it is saying. It is saying that after the 70 years of judgment that God promised, and that he fulfilled, then he would release them from their captivity in Babylon and he would bring them home, for his intention was not for them to be in captivity forever but to give them a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:12-14 ESV

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

So, is there a promise in there for us Christians today? If there is it would be to let us know that the plans the Lord has for us are ultimately for our good, for what will benefit us spiritually, but which may include hardships, persecutions, trials, and tribulations.

And the hope and the future he has planned for us is the hope of our salvation and eternal life with God that only comes through genuine believing faith in Jesus Christ, which includes dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness, walking according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh, and surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ.

For the whole goal of the judgment on God’s people in Jeremiah’s day was to get God’s people to repent of their sins and to turn to him in faith and in obedience to his commands, to get them to honor God as the holy God he is, and to get them to live for him and for his righteousness.

But the promise of fortunes to be restored to them is not a general promise to all of us today. And we should not be looking for wealth and the things of this world, either. The treasures we should be seeking are of things above, not of things of this earth.

For if our Lord brings us out of exile back to the place where we came from before we were sent into exile, as a judgment of God, then it would be to bring us back into pure fellowship with our Lord, living holy lives, pleasing to God. It would be to bring us back to a place where we seek God with all our heart and where we humbly submit to him and to his will for our lives.

Courageous!

An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

2 thoughts on “God’s Plans for Us

  1. The leaders of “revival” under Josiah had “imagined themselves vainly” and oppressed the ordinary believers.

    Thank you so much – this has been greatly on my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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