“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,' declares the Lord, 'and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’” - Jeremiah 29:11-14
The people of Israel had sinned against God. As a result, God placed them under the yoke of the King of Babylon. As the people entered into captivity, they foolishly listened to the words of the false prophet Hananiah who assured them that their time in captivity would be short. Not only did God punish Hananiah, but through Jeremiah, God delivered the word that they were to remain captives for 70 years. But God gave the people of Israel the gift of the future full of hope despite their present circumstance.
The message was bleak but the hope of a better future was assured. Jeremiah also shows us the establishment of the new covenant that God would make with His people. It is this promise that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Through Him we have the gift of a future full of hope. In Jerimiah 31, the Lord declared “for I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin”. This hopeful future, as promised in the Book of Jeremiah, is found in the gift of grace given to us by Jesus Christ.
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