We’re all in Jeremiah today – that’s easy! Let’s read Jeremiah 23:33-40, Jeremiah chapters 24, 29, 30, and Jeremiah 31:1-14. Let’s visit!
What an encouraging day and wonderful reminder that God is all about restoration! 29:11 is a great favorite of course, but in its context it’s so powerful. Let’s back up a little bit and make sure we don’t miss the history here:
“This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon” (29:4 MSG)
First: God not only knows where the exiles are – he’s the reason they are there. Nothing happened that was outside of His control, not even this period of captivity. God assures them that He knew where they were and would come to them. Every piece of instruction represented a process:
“Build houses and make yourselves at home. Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away. Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare” (29:5-7 MSG, emphasis mine)
Build a house and LIVE there. Plant a garden and EAT the harvest that grows from it…. They were to be content and faithful and trust until He came because He knows the plan He had for them, plans for good and not evil (I won’t try to throw in the Message translation for Jeremiah 29:11 today – the NKJV is everyone’s favorite, I know!). Those were comforting words, especially considering their circumstances.
He knows my circumstances too, and I know He has a good plan if I’m obedient!