|The Lord has a great promise for us found in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for you to prosper, and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Before this promise, let’s remember that God had a plan for Israel, His people, which was to be a light in the darkness. Yes, the Bronze Age was very dark and Judah was exiled to Babylon for a reason. Scripture repeatedly mentions two major reasons. First, they turned their backs on the poor, hungry, widowed, and those in need. I think we all understand that. The other reason that confused me was that they bowed down to idols.
They weren’t likening it to the modern-day Ferrari owner who is often described as idolizing the fast and expensive car. No, this wasn’t the case in the Bronze Age for the Jews. Canaanite gods sacrificed people, including children. They had temple prostitutes who were often slaves, which is considered human trafficking today. Innocent victims suffered many other horrible, evil tragedies. Then there was the tribe of Judah, who should’ve been the light of the world but instead participated in and supported these sins. Eventually, God warned them to stop, stop, stop until the exile finally occurs.
Friend, during this Babylonian exile, Jeremiah the prophet is given a word of hope to people who really messed up, demonstrating God’s grace, mercy, and kindness. There is grace and favor for you even if you mess up or make poor decisions. You’re going to open the door, and God’s going to break some burdens for you. In God’s plans, you can prosper and not be harmed, and you will have hope and a future!