I’ve heard people say they love the book of Jeremiah. I think I’ve finally figured out why. I believe it’s because it contains the verse that I hear quoted time and time again; Jeremiah 29:11! I can’t say this book is my favorite. I like it because it’s God’s Word, but if I could sum it up, it’s about repentance. When the people failed to repent, God sent them into exile to Babylon as punishment. God was correcting their behavior but also wanted to give them the hope of returning to their land. However, if you were 20 years old, you probably weren’t going back home, and if you did, you would be 90 because this exile lasted 70 years! So God told them to live and prosper where he planted them.
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. Jeremiah 29:5-6
After giving them the bad news about having to stay there for seventy years, he followed it by consoling them.
“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. Jeremiah 29:10-11
God has plans for all of us, but I don’t think this promise applies to those who do not seek him and pray to him with all their heart.
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
We can expect good things from God because he loves us, but we need to honor him by reaching out to him in prayer, worship him as our loving Father, and praise him for his goodness.