This Scripture is often misquoted and taken out of context. It is frequently given as a promise that it was never meant to promise…of prosperity and a wonderful future. There is truth to that, but we need to see the context. It may turn out to be more meaningful when you understand the context.
Jeremiah isn’t known to be one of the fun books in the Bible. There is a lot of gloomy stuff found there. So it is surprising to find this…and some other very touching verses hidden away here.
What is ahead for Judah?
This passage is talking about the 70 years coming soon that will include the captivity of the land of Judah by Babylon. Israel has already been captured and mostly assimilated into the many nations around. The nation of Judah was the remnant of GOD’s people who were “the good ones.” But even they had turned from following the one true GOD.
They were on the verge of a severe punishment…a merciful one at that! This 70 years of being captive to Babylon, a much more heathen nation to be sure, was part of His promise to Israel to prosper them and not harm them; to give them a hope and a future. His definition of prosperity and hope is a little different from theirs I suspect.
How was that going to happen? Because during that time, this last remnant of the nation of Israel, the tribe of Judah, would call on Him! They would seek GOD and find Him. That’s how they would find hope and a future…and prosperity!
His ways are truly different from ours, aren’t they?
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.
Then you will call on me and come and pray to me,
and I will listen to 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 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.”