10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile”.
Jeremiah 29: 10 – 11 (NIV)
This is one scripture I’ve known by heart for a long time, at least verse 11. Yesterday I flipped my Bible to this chapter again, and I read it differently. Instead of reading a verse, I read the paragraph.
Here’s what I saw (please endeavor to share what is revealed the you too):
The Israelites had been in Babylon for years. Exiled, dejected, losing hope. They were listening to false prophets too. Anything that sounded like the voice of God. But God used Prophet Jeremiah to speak to them.
Verse 10 says seventy years, meaning there time in exile was limited. It was a phase. It would pass. God was taking them through a process and when the time was due, He would bring them out to it. It wasn’t a forever thing. They were not going to die in exile. The suffering could endure for the night, but joy was coming. Yes it was!
God told them His ultimate plan, the big picture, not just the “word for today”. He told them He was the MASTER-PLANNER, the Big Guy in Charge. He knew what He was doing. He was prospering them and not harming them, even if it felt otherwise. He had plans for them! He wasn’t just gonna leave them in the ditch and watch them suffer. He knew what He was doing!
But they had to find Him. They had to search for Him with all their hearts. Amplified says “require me as a vital necessity”. With all their hearts.
Sometimes it’s hard, really hard to see God’s hand in some events of our lives. We question Him and ourselves, and everything and everyone around us, searching for answers to life’s questions. Most times they are rhetorical.
God wants us to seek Him with all our hearts when things get rough. When the figures are not adding up and the grey clouds are hanging really low. He said we will find Him. I believe that means He will reveal Himself to us. He’ll help us make sense of the situation.
Then we will come to the realization that He loves us, and He has plans for us. Great plans. Of peace and hope. Of prosperity.
What a Father! What a God!