Comments on Verses from Prophets

Jeremiah 29:11  “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.”

This is a well-known verse and is often found on graduation cards and cards of encouragement. It possibly is also a well-misunderstood verse. Anytime we borrow a verse from the prophets or the history books of the Old Testament, we need to make sure that we are aware of the context the verse is originally set in. For instance, what is the setting in the twenty-ninth chapter of Jeremiah? What has Jeremiah been doing for these many chapters? He has been proclaiming exile! He has been threatening Juda with captivity, and we find that it is a seventy-year captivity.

The people are, of course, upset. Their way of life is threatened to the point of destruction and slavery. They were so upset that they wanted to murder Jeremiah for his terrible pronouncements. Verse eleven is written in the context of God reminding them of His promise to return them to their land. Despite the calamity God is bringing, He is also offering peace when the time is fulfilled. We understand this to be a national statement rather than one for individuals. Not everyone in Judah will come back. Not everyone in Judah will find peace. Not everyone will have a hopeful future.

It is true, however, that this is a universal fact we know about God. He is full of mercy and peace. He does not want any to perish or remain in captivity to sin. His eternal plan has a place of welfare and not evil, future, and hope. It is plain in the first twenty-nine chapters that those who are obedient will see that future.

Task for Today: God has great plans for you. God wants to grant you mercy and peace. He is the God of salvation but only to those who live according to His words. Blessing will come from God, not Evil. The true future also belongs to God. What say you? God has made His plans known, what are yours?

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