As hard as it is to believe, there are those who only see our heavenly father as a domineering, demanding, law making God waiting to punish them at the slightest infraction.  What joy comes from living that kind of life?

Jeremiah 29:1-14 presents a different picture of a loving God, encouraging His people while they were in an exile in which He orchestrated.  Even in the discipline process God’s love for His own is seen in the words of Jeremiah’s letter.  The first thing they were told is that even though God had sent them there they were to be a blessing there.  They were to continue life as normal by building homes, planting crops, marrying and having children.  They were also to seek the peace of the Babylonians and pray to the Lord on their behalf.  The words of Jeremiah state, “for in its welfare you will have welfare.”  As the Babylonians go, so would go the tribe of Judah.

In addition, Jeremiah encourages them with the promise that at the end of 70 years God would visit them and bring them out of captivity and back to the land of Canaan.  The Lord does not leave them without hope.  Judah would not be relegated to being in Babylon or even another country by way of Babylon being conquered.  That’s the love of God who has plans for His people “not for calamity, but for a future and a hope.”

That’s not all we read in Jeremiah’s letter.  God has given them encouragement to look for His deliverance, but He has also given them a clue as to how this will come about.  In verse 12, Jeremiah repeats the word of the Lord, “Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  Them you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” 

God has always had the good of Man at heart and in this text is becomes clear.  He loves us and as a result the man that searches for Him with all his heart will be truly blessed.  How much heart are you putting into your search for the God that awaits your coming? (See Matthew 22:37, 38)  Less than all may not be enough.

Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter

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