Jeremiah 29 Commentary
Chapter 29 is world famous for its verse 11. However, the saint may be interested in knowing the context of this statement by the LORD.
Of course, it fits into the general notion that the LORD has good plans for mankind – the plan of salvation. The grand plan involved an exodus-like restoration of Israel back to her own land – the land promised to Abraham.
It appears the LORD is obsessed with the idea that Israel settles on this particular piece of land. It represents a trip back to the Garden of Peace and tranquility – Eden, the Garden of God.
It would therefore appear like the good plans of the LORD have nothing to do with a man’s holiday trip to the Bahamas. The LORD defines the term ‘good’ for us. It is ‘good’ the LORD’s way. Let the saint be reminded.
Stop for a moment and think about it. The scattering of Israel here is comparable with the scattering that Adam experienced. The LORD kicked him out of Eden. Later the LORD would enter into a contract with Abraham. The details of the contract involved obedience on Abraham’s part and provision of ‘land’ and a blessing on the LORD’s part.
Israel had constantly breached the terms of the contract and finally, the LORD acted by scattering Israel away from ‘the land’. Yes, scattering has happened but wait a minute. The LORD has good plans for Israel. Chapter 29, therefore, displays the compassions of the LORD in high definition.
We can draw a thought from the term used to describe the exiled elders – the surviving elders. The surviving individual, that is, the reader here and anyone else still living today, the LORD has good plans for you. The LORD is speaking of good plans for you; to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Verse 11. We shall read about the means and the details of this plan, but nothing rivals Isaiah’s details. It is about a new dispensation under a new government; the Son called Immanuel would head it. He is also the Servant of Isaiah 53.
See how the scripture keeps on referring to the original blessing of increase, prosperity, and dominion. Prosperity in the plans of the LORD is a direct reference to the original blessing – Genesis 1 verse 28.
They would prosper, have the Messiah’s rule, and be back in the Garden – the Promised Land, for Jeremiah’s audience.
Verse 7 is yet another important poster verse from this chapter: “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
The saint can connect all these pieces and understand the meaning of ‘being in the world though not of the world’. At the same time, it spells for us the correct word for responsibility or ministry – for churchgoers. In the meantime, don’t listen to the false prophets. They preach the wrong gospel. The saint is warned.
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