Does Jeremiah 29:11 Still Apply Today?

PlansJeremiah2911-1Question: “Can this famously quoted verse in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 29:11) be applied directly to my life today or was it only meant for Israel?”

Answer: To correctly interpret this verse (or any part of the Bible for that matter), we need to address the following questions:

First, what did the text mean to the original audience?  We need to discover the meaning “God intended” when the Scripture was originally written.  We do not create the meaning of the text, so we need to find the meaning that is already there.

Second, what are the differences between the biblical audience and us?   We are separated by differences in culture, customs, language, situation, time, and covenant.  We must recognize these differences.  To overlook them would cause us to grossly misinterpret the text.

Third, what is the theological principle in the text?  While the specifics of the passage only apply to the particular situation of the biblical audience the theological principle is applicable to all of God’s people at all times.  And this is the key to correctly interpret and apply Jeremiah 29:11.  We need to figure out how to apply the theological principle in the text.  We must grapple with how we should respond to that principle.  How does the principle apply in real-life situations?  Each of us must grasp and apply the same theological principle in slightly different ways depending on our specific life situations.

Regarding the specifics of Jeremiah 29:11, in 605 B.C. the Babylonian’s invaded Jerusalem and took the Israelites captive.  Jeremiah 29 is part of a letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent to the surviving Israelites who had been taken captive by the Babylonians.  God’s Word (through Jeremiah) to the exiles was to prepare for a long stay in Babylon.  They were to build houses and settle down.  They were also to plant gardens to sustain them during the period.  Life was to go on as normal.  The people were exhorted to marry and have sons and daughters.  Instead of hoping for Babylon’s quick demise, they were encouraged to seek its peace and prosperity.  Jeremiah even told the Israelites to pray for Babylon (Jeremiah 29:4-9).

Let’s break this down.  The restoration of the exiles would happen only when God’s 70-years of judgment were completed (Jeremiah 25:11-12).  Then, God would fulfill His gracious promise to restore the exiles to their land.  The 70-year Exile was a part of God’s plan to give Israel “hope and a future.”  The judgment prompted the exiles to seek God wholeheartedly (Daniel 9:2-3, 15-19).  Once they turned back to God, He gathered them from Babylon, where they had been banished, and returned them to their land (Jeremiah 29:10-14; Deuteronomy 30:1-10).

Moving forward, Jeremiah 29:11 still has applications for us today!  God knows the future, and His plans are good and full of hope.  As long as God, who knows the future, provides our agenda and goes with us as we fulfill His mission, we can have boundless hope.  This does not mean that we will be spared pain, suffering, or hardship, but that God will see us through to a glorious future.

* Read more in my book, Back to the Basics: A Guide for Christian Living.

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  1. My question was actually more related to the dispensationalist view that many OT passages are not to be applied, not just that specific verse. I think you explained it well, though. When I study a passage I read about the author and the audience, which clears up a lot of confusion about what was spoken (this is especially true with Jesus’ parables and the book of Hebrews). I guess the reason I asked was my father (formerly a baptist preacher) whom I admire and respect gave me this advice about OT passages and it has always bothered me. I have always believed ALL Scripture is given for our benefit (2 Tim. 3:16) and like you said, the principles can be applied. Thanks for answering so specifically! I’m impressed with your committment to thorougly answer! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. I was wondering if your question was about the entire Old Testament, not just that single verse. Now I know. Give me a little time and I will give you a better answer. Thanks for your faithfulness, Rebecca!

    2. Like your dad, Rebecca, I am also a dispensationalist. What does this mean?

      First, I use literal historical grammatical (normal, plain) interpretation and do not spiritualize or allegorize Scripture. This very consistency is the strength of dispensational interpretation.

      Second, I believe Israel and the Church are distinct.

      Third, I am interested in the underlying purpose of God in the world. The salvation of man is not the only program of God, but one of the means God is using in His total program of glorifying Himself. Scripture is not man-centered as though salvation were the main theme, rather it is God-centered because His glory is the center. The Bible itself clearly teaches that salvation, important and wonderful as it is, is not an end in itself, but is rather a means to the end of glorifying God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).

      Fourth, I believe in the biblical covenants and look for a future restoration of Israel in the Millennial Kingdom. What are those covenants?

      First, there is the Abrahamic Covenant. Abraham was to be made a great nation. Abraham was given a definite land (Gen. 12:1, 15:18-21). The blessings of the covenant involved God’s relationship to Abraham and his descendents. These promises were unconditional and to last forever (Gen. 17:7). The original covenant given in Gen. 12:1-3 is reiterated and enlarged by God in Gen. 13:14-17, Gen. 15:1-21, and Gen. 17:1-8.

      Second, there is the Land Covenant (Dt. 30:1-8). The boundaries of the land covenant are given in Gen. 15:18-21. This land has never been possessed by Abraham’s descendants and awaits a future fulfillment. The promises of the covenant to Abraham’s descendents are not only made through statements to Abraham but in statements directly to Isaac (Gen. 17:19; Gen. 26:2-4) and Jacob (Gen. 28:13-15). This begins to lay the groundwork for a premillennial coming of Christ to fulfill these boundary promises.

      Third, there is the Davidic Covenant. There is an everlasting nature to the dynasty and throne promised to David through his son (2 Sam. 7:8-16). There is a special relationship (Father/Son) established with David’s son and by extension all the kings of Israel. The overall program of God for the Davidic dynasty cannot fail or be changed. Individual rebellion on the part of a Davidic king could remove him from the blessings of the covenant, but the overall covenant cannot be abolished by God otherwise, according to God’s own words, He would be a liar. David’s throne is literal rule of the nation of Israel centered in Jerusalem. The overall unconditional nature of this covenant with David points to the future establishment of this throne in Jerusalem in a permanent way.

      Fourth, there is the New Covenant. The focus of the New Covenant on the nation of Israel is clear from the following passages: Jer. 31:31-37, Ez. 36:16-38, Joel 2:21-28, Heb. 8, I Cor. 11, Luke 22, 2 Cor. 3. The fulfillment of the new covenant awaits the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of the millennial kingdom on earth. There is one new covenant to Israel and none to the Church (although there can be some blessings for the Church, but no new covenant program for the Church). The fulfillment of the new covenant is tied to the presence of Israel in the land in eschatological blessing.

      The promises of God to Israel imply they are to be fulfilled nationally and politically. They are unconditional and hence the Church can in no way replace Israel. Since they are as of yet unfulfilled in totality, there must be a future fulfillment for Israel. The Church is a new entity distinct from the nation of Israel and therefore cannot replace Israel in the fulfillment of the promises. Thus, Christ must return to establish this fulfillment.

      That is a basic summary of dispensational theology.

      Does this help, Rebecca?

      1. When I wrote my note, I was not talking about a literal interpretation of scripture, where someone looks at the sentence and then knows exactly what it says without the rest of the chapter also being read and understood in such a manner, a Christian could understand …mostly using human logic. There are gifts given when we are born again. Some of us work harder at understanding the Word of God, some do not. The gifts help the one who is drive by the Holy Spirit and who has intelligence to comprehend the meanings. Also, one who studies the Word of God and who is God’s instrument in teaching others…the Truth.

      2. Yes, Joe, thank you. That is exactly what my dad taught me, and I agree. I believe the main theme of the Bible is not so much salvation but kingdom rule. Jesus will reign here on Earth, his kingdom is at hand. I wasn’t even aware there were people who viewed the Bible as an allegory or not literally as it is written. Sometimes we overly complicate what is plainly communicated.

      3. Very nice summary of the dispensational theology. Particularly eye-opening is the view that the Bible is not totally man-centered, soteriology, but is many faceted in its emphasis on bringing all the glory to God.

        1. I read a few more articles on your blog today. You are clearly educated in the Bible. I would be glad to talk with you more. Do you have any specific questions to continue our conversation? Looking forward to your reply. God bless!

        2. Sure pastor. I don’t have any specific questions but certainly having conversations with you regarding the covenants of the Bible would be of interest for me since I think it is an important topic in the Bible. God bless.

    1. Me too Rabattye! Truth Speak is the words spoken through a truth preacher. Joe is right up there in the preacher, speaker truth teller!

        1. Thanks Joe for including me again. Love your testimonies and intpretations of the scriptures. We never stop learning. I was watching a program today on War throughout history. Reading Daniel and Jeremaiah and Isaiah – The statue in Revelation and what it made out of. Then The Stone cut out without hands. Beginning with Babylon, Nebeuchadnezzar and his images. Perisa conquered Babylon.. then Rome and Jesus who God said will rule the world. There is nothing that comes after these. Juses is the end of these great conquerers. We will never be ruled by Isis. Do not fear, for we are well protected by our Father who loves. Jerahiah 29:11 says out history is written. God gave us His word in the Bible. Our History is clear. We should never fear the future.
          The Scripture Joe Quoted: “God knows the future, and His plans are good and full of hope.” I know that Dictators come and go and spread lies and fear. I also know to never bow down to them. God has got our back!

          1. I did not mean that Persia conquered Rome or Jesus.. I should have added that there was war with these countries through out history which is written in the Bible. Prophecy is our history. Jesus is the end.. The conquerors will be no more. Only God .
            God is our future.

  2. what do you think of the scripture,..”tho He slay me, yet will i trust Him?”

    i don’t ask this to try to be the old “fly in the vaseline.” most of the disciples/apostles died rather unpleasant deaths, didn’t they? as per God’s plan, if you will. we could think and feel that “harm” came to them, could we not?

    i only comment on this now because of the situation that my life “is”, at this time. i do not write this under any pall of depression. nor sadness. just factually. never in my life have i experienced what i am now,…which is,….simply put, i feel as if i am disappearing, or,…vanishing,…….or, fading away.

    there is no pain to create this feeling within me. there is no loss or lack of hope which creates it either. it’s much like an odd sense of “knowing.” like the last few sands of the hourglass, my hourglass, are about to fall through the hole. and then, no more sand. and, no matter what anyone’s human mind may “want”, or “try”, to come up with to make me think or feel differently,…i have a, beyond strange, sense of peace about it. we all “go home” one day, do we not?

    tho He slay me, yet will i trust Him?????? since we all die,….could what i feel be that my time is about up? or, through? my journey on this earth is almost over? have others felt what i feel now? if so, would we not “only” have this feeling once in our life?

    when we become believers, do we not give our lives to God to do with what he “wants/wills.and chooses?” i believe, and read, that we do. this said, do i feel that “if” my time is almost through, that God is, mean??? no. or, is He unfair? no. have i, or am i, been “cheated” out of the life that i so badly desired for myself? the life that i “wanted???” no. could i? yes. but,….what good would, or could, come of that? would/could those “thoughts and feelings”, stem from feelings of resentment? i think they would. resentment towards, who? towards God.

    the apostle paul tells us??? “to live is, etc???,….but to “die” is gain????? going home is where the ultimate and joyful and peaceful promise is,……paul looked forward to going home (heaven),…but he said that it was (is) good for “others” that he stay behind (here on earth) to share what he had, and was given to share (with us all)….which he did, until when?????? (one story says that he was beheaded)

    this is just about what is going on in “my” life at this moment. what is going on inside of me………and i have peace about it. try to explain the un-explainable sometime. but, try to explain it to “your self” before you try to explain it to “anyone else”,….and see, if you can see, what “rational” or “reasonable” or even what “sane” answer that you have to “offer” your self. A PEACE THAT SURPASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING????? i am living that scripture right now.

    you “may see” that worrying about the (future) problems in your life can truly be,….well,……….a rather useless waste of, “time.”


    God knows exactly what He is doing. and exactly what His plan is. perhaps “we” are the ones “who” are (always/many times) trying to “change HIS WILL FOR OUR LIFE,…TO FIT OUR WANTS FOR OUR LIFE???????

    no matter what situation that we are in,…we are told to be content….(i think paul said this, didn’t he, joe?)…content? to have peace about something. correct??? and in that peace,….we are to be thankful. correct???? but instead,…don’t many of us want to (and do) murmur and complain???? when we do so,….are we not telling God that we don’t like what He is “doing”, or “allowing” in our lives? God is just. i am thankful.

    1. John, are you referring to Job 13:15? I would like to exegete this passage for the benefit of us both and all who read.

      God in His wisdom can bring to light things that are difficult to comprehend (in mental darkness). While we would normally expect leaders to be powerful and elders to be wise (Job 12:12), God sometimes reverses that; for Job’s advisers, older than he, were not as wise. Job had seen and heard what they were saying about God; and he was not inferior to them. But they were not the ones he wanted to debate. He wanted to argue his case with God. Why waste time arguing with this terrible triad who were smearing the facts with lies about his being a sinner and who were worthless medical doctors with no prescription to alleviate his pain?

      Their words, Job complained, revealed their folly; hence their silence would show their wisdom. Repeatedly in this chapter he pleaded for their listening, attentive ears, not their ignorant words (vv. 6, 13, 17, 19). He wanted them to listen to his argument and his plea to God. It would do them no good to be deceitful in accusing him of sin. Certainly they could not be God’s defense attorneys. In fact, if God scrutinized their lives, they could not possibly deceive Him. He would rebuke and terrify (7:14; 9:34; 13:21) them. Later, Job’s three friends actually were reproved by God, when He convicted them of the errors of their views (42:7-9). These men were incompetent to counsel, for their words were proverbs of ashes, a fitting description in view of the pile of ashes where Job was sitting (2:8). Their arguments, behind which they hid like fortresses made of weak clay, failed to help Job.

      Fearlessly Job was ready to speak out to God and to take the consequences even though it meant risking his life. “Though He slay me.” Job was anticipating the jeopardy (v. 14) involved in his presenting his case to God. But he was determined to defend (v. 3) his case even though it might kill him! He was willing to risk it because of the remote possibility that God would exonerate him.

      Is this how you are feeling, John?

          1. lol,….no, not yours,…you put some time into it man!! and thanks,….as for what i wrote,….i was talking about a faith where we realize that we, in faith, are dead to making, or trying to make, our wants, into God”s will. and then, when we don’t get, our way,…….we begin to be upset with God. that is all, pretty much……….basically,… many of us only have “faith”,…when things are good. if this is the case, when bad, un-enjoyable, or, not so pleasant things happen,….(death could easily be on that list)….then our faith is in serious trouble. that’s all……….

      1. actually,..leave it if you want,……i understand that i everything written in the bible, has a core context,….”but”,..there are certain things that are universal in all of out lives,….context specific,..or not???? tho He slay me, yet will i trust Him,…to me,….IS DEFINITELY one of those things,………………i just thought it was really cool how paul trusted god in all situations….and was thankful!!!! no matter what!!!!!!

  3. Excellent Blog Joe. I’ve added you to the blogroll on my blog at a.k.a “The Deacon’s Corner” Your articles are very informative and interesting and I think the Q/A part of your blog is unique and really needed. Keep up the good work brother

    1. Thank you, Dave. I appreciate your encouragement and adding me to your blogroll. God bless you, my brother!

      1. This is really a great topic here also there are a lot of topics that were been raised and answered. I really enjoyed reading it.

        Now, my concern is, I want to ask if this verse (Jeremiah 29:11) is still applicable for us? For example to each and every person who’s suffering from any circumstances. Or was just for the exile of the Babylonian? Also what this verse really means? (Theologically or Biblically explained) Thanks pastor Joe for any response. It will be highly appreciated.

  4. This was the first time your posts came through on my e mail. Yes, I have always wondered about the scriptures and if the Introduction before each chapter begins told us who the
    scripture was written to and what we should take from these scriptures. This is not an
    exact science as some would think. I have argued over and over with Jim Finn, that the
    scriptures are for our benefit and instruction to bring knowledge and wisdom to the believer.
    He argued that they are to be taken literally and are for the Gentile believer. This is how
    many people feel. They take the scriptures and make them fit into whatever they want to
    say or any discussion. This is a terrible way to treat God’s Word. He didn’t write the Bible
    for man to use at his own will for his own purposes. The scriptures are not literal sentences.
    As in Paul said this and he said that. But, some ask, who is Paul speaking to. Unless a
    person is given wisdom by the Holy Spirit to interpret scripture as you have Joe, the every
    day believer, just hopes what he is reading means what he thinks it means. I do not like
    Bible Study because everybody puts their own personal ideas and spin on the Word of
    God. I had a wonderful way of approaching scripture when I was born again. Here is what I said to God each time I opened up the BOOK.-
    “Come Holy Spirit,
    For Moved by Tee,
    Thy Prophet wrote and spoke
    Unlock the truth, thyself the key.
    Unseal the sacred Book.

    Word Press would be so much more fulfilling if there were not as many false prophets protesting against sin, and sinners. But instead using scripture the way God meant for man to use it, with love, study, caution, love and understanding. People just throw out something trying to make
    the reader think they know what they are talking about. I am sure God is not happy with the bloggers who do this and then mix politics and the world’s evil and dirty works …with the word of God.

  5. Very Good article:) You explain how we should interpret scripture so well. So many people don’t understand. I love this scripture, by the way, it is one of my favorites:)

  6. That’s a tough sell, Joe. I’m curious about why people ask whether or not this verse should be applied directly today? I’m in the camp that would disagree with your direct application of this verse. I believe the letter was occassional and had a very specific, intended purpose and audience. I believe this verse reveals something of the nature of God, but that the words themselves cannot and should not be quoted as prophetic of any kind of specific ‘plan’ God might have on our individual lives.

    Having said all that, I wonder why people like me don’t want the verse applied directly, but folks like you DO want the verse applied? What are our intentions behind our convictions? For my own part I believe that I’ve got ‘Bible fatigue’ when it comes to this verse. It is so often quoted, and usually in such a cliche, glib way, that it’s lost all power and meaning for me. I want people to stop trying to apply it directly because they use this verse as a crutch and don’t dig any deeper into their faith.

    1. I agree with you. I too believe the letter had a specific purpose and audience. Did you read my entire article? I discuss the intended message five paragraphs down from the top. I also agree this verse is becoming cliché. I too want people to dig deeper into their faith.

      My second comment down from the top will shed light on “my intentions behind my convictions.” Like I said, I agree with you, so I am wondering where we are missing each other. I don’t want to confuse anyone. I am curious to know your thoughts. Thanks brother!

  7. Oh Jeremiah 29:11! That one is a staple in daily living on this side of Heaven? What would we do without it? It is so revealing of the nature of God– disciplining at times, yes, but loving always– never done with us! Thanks for your post and for bringing glory to God through His Word. Also, thanks for stopping by my blog a while back and checking it out;) Best wishes, Regina

  8. You are absolutely correct. This verse has become cliche, it has been used very loosely. The scriptures full meaning are being lost behind “prosperity”. Work must be done in order for this scripture to be fulfilled on the individuals part. John M. Bracke-Jeremiah 1-29 (Westminster Bible Companion) gives us more insight of this word-“The prophet Jeremiah declared the word of the Lord at a critical time in the history of ancient Israel. In the first volume of a two-part commentary on Jeremiah, John Bracke provides a powerful interpretation of the prophet’s message to a nation that refused to listen to the call to repent and to renew covenant living in obedience to God’s commandments. Readers encounter God’s anguish and pain over both the failure of the people and the suffering that they and Jeremiah were forced to endure.” It happened then and it’s still happening now. You can find this book at

    1. I checked out your website. Very nice! It looks like you sell a little bit of everything.

  9. First, let me say I am a relatively new Bible reader…4 years. That being said I have been quite voracious in my own study, as well as studying what others say. For the first 6 months I read completely on my own – no background – and although came to many beliefs and understanding which I believe to be Spirit revealed, am the first to admit no formal schooling and therefore with a vast capacity both for error, and learning. When I first walked into a church, I held a strong conviction for every Scripture being applied to all believers. My pastor holds a strong belief in every word being written at a specific time, for a specific group. We are challenging each other 🙂 The beauty in the relationship (and in reading your blogs) is finding the middle ground of this – the words written at a specific time to a specific audience – absolutely. By researching the original context, we learn a fragment of God’s heart and character. By understanding that God’s overall purpose – His Kingdom and glory – never changes, we can apply principles to our own lives. Timely words, therefore, become timeless principles. Am I even close? 🙂

  10. God gives specific scriptures to certain people depending on their need and calling in Life. Mine are Habakkuk 2:2-3; Joel 2:25, 28 and 29; and the Jabez Prayer from 1 Chronicles 4:10

      1. I’m a writer so Habakkuk 2:2-3 applies to me and so does Joel 2:25, 28 &29 in terms of latter rain meaning my later years of life. Also in God telling me He pours out his spirit upon all flesh that includes women passed the half century mark (Me). Personally I feel the Jabez Prayer is to give me encouragement to keep pressing forward in my outreach. My age will cause me to reach an audience and a dynamic that have been rejected by our modern youthful society. Younger folks often appeared shocked, sometimes even outraged that the AARP folks are still in the mix. Millennials beware! We Baby Boomers still have plenty of oil in our lamps and our synapses are still snapping!

  11. Thanks so much for the time you put into this. I try to put all scripture into the context of who wrote it, intended audience, and the principle behind it all. In teaching a lesson on the Beatitudes recently, I was able to point out that salvation is not the end game, but it is only the beginning of our journey. Redemption transforms us so that we can have a right relationship with God and with man. I am so thankful for the Scriptures that illumine us and guide us. Bless you in all of your efforts.

  12. like this part: We do not create the meaning of the text, so we need to find the meaning that is already there.
    and this part: the theological principle is applicable to all of God’s people at all times
    just to hit the top of your post, fact is that it, your post, is so deep and well thought it boggles my mind.
    So, right now I am jumping to you other post ‘Discovering the Will of God’, yo Joe, you got the touch to teach for sure. Blessed be His name and your work.

  13. Your explanation makes a lot of sense. While we are aware of the context of God’s covenant promises to Israel, we also cant limit God in any way. The verse itself is in keeping with His divine character as He is the God of All Comfort.

  14. I am thankful that the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob is still the same God that we serve today. God’s nature doesn’t change, His word remains and so does His promises. What he gave his old testament people, He will give to the internet nation:)

  15. I believe that verse can apply to us as believers; I see that it generally lines up with more specific promises in the New Testament that the Holy Spirit has provided for Christ’s church today…great post, too many believers are sadly uneducated in the points of Hermenuetics. (spelling?)

  16. I was feeling discouraged the other day and “re–found” this verse. It has always been such an encouragement to me. It is so wonderful how God’s Word is truly a living Word. What God said to the people in the past has just as much meaning for believers today:)

  17. This last year has been really difficult for me and Jer. 29:11 has given me so much encouragement when I wanted to give up. It is like God is speaking directly to me. He’s saying don’t despair, I understand what you’re going through and I care. Little scriptures like these give hope that deliverance is near. Reading and re-reading, meditating on various Bible verses helps me get through rough times. I’m very thankful for Jeremiah 29:11.

  18. This is one of the best commentaries on Jeremiah 29:11 that I have ever read in 36 years of study. Thank you Pastor Quatrone.
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  19. Thank you Pastor Joe and it is True that all Scripture being inspired by God means that the theological principle is applicable to all of God’s people at all times.

    My Life has been very hard with much heartache, some of my suffering I caused myself and some because others walked in their evil flesh and some because we live in a fallen world and also because we have a enemy. Before I came to True heart repentance I had no Hope and was often in despair but now I have eternal Hope and I hold in my heart God’s words of Love below.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Christian Love from us both – Anne

    1. Amen. This is true. I think there is a special connection that binds us to Christ. Isaiah 33: 1-3 is so wonderful to read, that after going through the fire, God has called our name as sons of God. Both Isaiah and Job have scriptures that offer words of encouragement and God’s love for us.
      Job 5:17 “Behold happy is the man whom God correcteth, therefore despise not thou, the chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He maketh sore, and bindeth up, He woundeth and his hands make whole. 19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles, and in seven there shall no evil to thee.”
      This prophecy has come true in my life. My Redeemer has come forth and saved me. God bless you Anne.

      1. Thank you Rita, what many do not understand today is what God’s Discipline and chastising is, often they think it is what they received as Children and in some ways it is like this, as it is not pleasant, so is there a contradiction in Scripture when God tells us that He does not afflict willingly or grieve the children of men, No but His Rod of correction is The Holy Spirit, He does not use evil He can’t He is Love and physical abuse promotes abuse, this is by Satan’s hand, all good things come from God.

        We see by the Prodigal Son that God allows us our own free will and so we reap what we sow, when we separate ourselves from God by sin we are no longer under His care and protection, He sees us from afar, it’s a bit like time out when children are naughty, it is not pleasant to be alone and in despair but it is our choice, yet because God knew we would be His even before we were conceived, He will intervene if needed, I was saved from death 3 times even though at the time after being deceived as a Teenager I claimed He was just made up and we came from Apes. When we come to our senses and repent He welcomes us back Lovingly although we were dead in our sins we become alive Spiritually in Christ Jesus and so we are sealed, we are adopted we are in His Family, a Holy Nation a people belonging to God.

        Thank you again for your encouragement – Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

        1. Ann, God uses travails and tribulations knowing that the testing of faith produces patience. God does use others during this time. I was in the midst of a satan worshiper, a stalker and raper and others, and yet God walked with me during that time. If He had not, I would have been dead. James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
          2 Cor 4:8-9
          “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are prepared, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, STRUCK DOWN, but not destroyed”
          I could feel Satan around me, and I kept prayer virgil with a pastor. We prayed at noon every day for a year. I was delivered a year after I met this pastor and prayed every day at noon. My faith was tested and I came out as gold.

      2. Hi Rita, this reminds me of Blogging in Australia, we often share with each other as well as the person who has posted their message, many differances are resolved this way as we Trust in God’s Truth, thank you for taking the time to share.

        It is True God uses everything for good in our lives and we know it is not by His hand that we are afflicted and suffer.

        Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

        I shared more fully with Pastor Joe about this Scripture and the one he shared is also conformation but there are other Scriptures too that confirm this Truth.

        You were indeed tested by Satan and God gave you the strengh to perservere Rita as He did Job, it is our choice to call on Him, God never goes against our free will but He is faithful to keep our soul from perishing, knowing we are His from Eternity, as we put our flesh to death by The Spirit, we are perfected in Love, conformed into Christ’s image. Paul tells us we are to aim for the crown of righetousness that He received before He died and so did others, this is goal of our Salvation, we are Saved and being Saved, as we choose to walk in the Fruit of the Spirit by His empowering, we will walk as Jesus walked, we have God’s seed His Spiritul Nature and the mind of Christ when we are Born Again. 1John3:9 – Romans8 – Galations5 – 2Corinthians2:9-16 -1John5:18-20 – 1John 2:4-6 – 1John4:16-17

        Christian Love from us both – Anne.

  20. Thank you Pastor Joe for your explanation and Johnedoe for your honesty, as I pondered on what you both shared I felt the need to affirm that when Job said we are to accept all things that God gives good and bad that although He chose to live a righteous life he did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but after The Spiritual Pentecost we are able to be indwelt and sealed by Him and because we have asked and received God’s wisdom and do not Trust in mans fleshy understanding, we know His heart (1Corinthians2:9-16 ) and Jesus our only Teacher leads us into all Truth, He is the exact representation of God The Father, He is Love and can do no evil.

    When we read what God said to Job we see that He was reassuring Him He is the Creator of all good things not bad and of His power and presence and Spiritual protection. It was God that gave Job the strength to endure when He went through Satan’s testing, he was not alone through his trial by fire, God was with Him as He is with us when Satan tries to claim us as his own, it is his right to do so because of the fall of man into sin, this world is in his control but God will keep us strong to the end and no Temptation will be greater then we can bear, He will provide a way out which He has done in Jesus Christ who set us free from the slavery and bondage of sin.

    Lamentations 3: 33 For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  21. I read this blog about a day later after you posted it and was amazed at how many responses yov’ve already received! Praise God that people are still thirsting after Truth which you always project. Thank you!

    As Christians we are obligated to profess the Word of God to those who are hungry for it, especially in this Judges 17:6 world we are living in today. Sometimes it’s a hug and sometimes a rebuke, but this verse confirms that the Lord truly has our best interests at heart and will do whatever it takes to gather us into His will, even if it’s discipling us for “70” years. Just trust him. I prefer to think of it as a “hugging” verse personally and find much comfort in it. Thank you for your inspiring and motivating posts.

  22. thank you Joe for stopping by and for the like – greatly appreciated 🙂

    Jeremiah 29:11 has been a sustaining verse for me through a very dark time in my life. I remain confident because His words stand today as they did in the time God spoke them to the Israelites.

    keep up the transparency!

  23. How wonderful that God does not ignor us, He is faithful in our time of need and we never need to fear His rejection, the Holy Spirit comforts us so we can comfort others, He teaches us His Truth so we can share it with others. Do we have the Holy Spirit or man’s fleshy motivation and ego.

    Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

    Matthew 10:26-28 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in Light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops (KJV)

    We shine in the Darkness, we don’t make it darker.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne

  24. Thanks for liking my blog post “The Journey continues and continues and continues…..”. This article sums up why I keep moving forward to fulfill the destiny Jesus spoke of to me when I was nine. Thank you.

  25. Thanks for pointing to a faithful God and a hopeful future in this post.

    And, thank you for stopping by my blog to read “Jesus Took the Wheel.”

  26. Pastor Joe, awesome post. Thank you for your time, passion and heart for Gods Word! I 100% agree with everything you have said.

    I also really enjoyed all the thought provoking comments. My prayer daily is that God will continue to unite His bride. That we will get better at putting aside disputable matters and focus on the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

    God Bless!

  27. It sure does apply – a lot of the prophecies in the Bible have a near fulfillment for the time it is written and a far fulfillment for future events. Have a blessed day.

  28. I have read this verse many times before. I even have it memorized. But I have never thought about it in view of historical context (which is incredibly important when studying the Old Testament).

    Thank you for a new perspective on such a familiar verse.

  29. Thanks for checking out my post – this verse is one that I know and read often but struggle with. I wonder does the idea of a “plan” as it was used in the OT have the same meaning as it does for us? I mean, the way I look at the word/idea of a plan – here’s my historical context – is like in any good spy movie where plans are drawn up, recon takes place and watches are synchronized – if any one thing does not happen on time in order the plan goes up in smoke – sometimes literally. SO, how many times has my watch not been synched to God’s and how many times have I blown a simple detail of God’s plan and how do I even know if he and I are looking at the same set of plans? Whew, I feel better just getting all that off my chest – it might even lead to a post of my own – thanks for that.
    Thanks again for stopping by – feel free to return any time. I would love to hear your thoughts on my stuff.

    1. Absolutely! I encourage you to write a post about this. You make a good point: “are God and I looking at the same set of plans?” This make me think of blueprints, where everything has a set place, position, and measure. I also think of dominos; if I knock one down, they will all come crashing down. So back to the question: “are God and I looking at the same set of plans?” Let me know when your post is up. I’d like to read it.

      In the meantime, you might enjoy a post I wrote a while back about this very subject (God’s will): God bless!

      1. When you mentioned the dominoes I thought yeah they all fall, unless someone removes one from the middle! I will read your other post, too. Thanks.

      2. I tired to leave this on your page but WP would not allow me so here it is –
        Thanks for sending me this link – I knew it was not an accident when I saw that you opened with Romans 12:2. I have always been drawn to that verse and I love the way the New Living Translation puts it – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

        Where the other translations say “renew your mind” I LOVE that TNL says “change the way you think.” It has caused me to literally change the way I think about God’s will and how I go about discerning it.
        I enjoyed this post. Thanks.

  30. Pastor Joe did a great job in expounding upon this particular text. Part of the problem that too many people have when studying OT scripture is that they see it through a prism that says this group of scriptures was made for the Jews only while the NT was meant to be studied by Christians. This is one of the most inconsistent and contradictory positions people can have on the Bible and any church who teaches that is not teaching truth. The Master Himself while on this Earth used the Scriptures (a.k.a the OT) to empower Himself, defend Himself against the enemy, to correct and instruct, and to reveal to His listeners that in these texts the truth about who God was was being revealed through Him just as the prophets predicted (Matt. 2:5; 4:4, 7, 10; 11:10; 21:13, 42; 22:29; 26:24, 31, 54, 56; Mark 1:2; 7:6; 9:12,13; 11:17; 12:10, 24; 14:21, 27, 49; 15:28; Luke 4:4, 8, 21, 17; 18:31; 19:46; 20:17; 21:22; 22:37; 24:27, 32, 44-46: John 2:22; 5:39; 6:45; 7:38, 42; 10:35; 12:14, 16; 13:18; 15:25; 17:12; 19:24, 28; 19:28, 36, 37; 20:9, 31).

    The apostles repeated the practice of Jesus in continually referring to what we now call the O.T. in order to justify their teachings and to tell their audiences that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ fulfilled the words spoken by the prophets. They confirmed that the teachings of the prophets were an indispensable part of compiling church doctrine, giving guiding to the church and teaching new converts. In addition, they verified that the consequences that the prophets spoke of would come to pass to those who rejected the gospel (Acts 1:16, 20; 7:42; 8:32, 35; 13:29, 33; 15:15; 17:2, 11; 18:24, 28, 21:25; 23:5; 24:14; Romans 1:2, 12, 17; 2:24; 3:21; 4:3; 9:17; 10:11; 11:2, 3; 15:4; 16:26; 1 Cr 12:28; 15:3, 4; Gal 3:8, 22; 4:30; Eph 2:20; 3:5; 4:11; 1 Th 2:15; 2 Tim 3:15, 16; Heb 1:1; James 2:8, 23; 5:10; 1 Peter 1:10; 2:6; 2 Peter 3:2, 16; Rev 11:10; 22:6, 9)

    We can thus with most certainty read O.T. scripture and find lessons and guidance that we can apply to our lives. As was explained before, Jeremiah is writing a letter to the exiles who had been taken captive to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar had done this this on two separate occasions (soon he was about to come to Jerusalem and wipe out nearly the entire remaining population and destroy the city and its and leave only the poorest people of the land to occupy it because of the persistent rebellion of his authority by Zedekiah). We must understand that Judah is being punished for not only committing acts of sin that humans do just because they’re sinful beings, but because they DELIBERATELY refused to obey God and continued to commit all kinds of sin, following in the examples of the heathen (2 Kings 24; 25; 2 Chronicles 36:1-21)

    Whatever you can imagine in your head that would constitute some of the most debased and grotesque things humans can do to one another was done in Judah before and during the time of Jeremiah. God was openly rebuked and ridiculed by the horrible things the people, including the priests had done within the temple that was holy to the Lord (even child sacrifice!). And yet we find that although God is punishing His people by sending them into captivity for seventy years and death by the sword, He is STILL extending mercy to them and offering them restoration if they turn to Him and repent!

    Why does this matter to us today? Truth be told, are people who identify themselves Christians much different than ancient Israel/Judah was? I don’t think so. Sometimes we have difficult things happen to us in this life and that is because we live in a world of sin, where we can expect trouble to come to us. But other times we reap the consequences of sin where we KNOW what we are dong is wrong in the sight of God and we do it anyway! However, we later reap the consequences of sin, and our lives are a mess. Guess what? No matter how bad the sin we committed against God and/or our fellow man is, no matter how much shame we put upon ourselves, God’s grace is so deep and so relentless he can forgive ANY sin we commit and restore us as long as we turn to Him in true repentance! How can we not love a God like that?

  31. Interesting to see this message again Pastor Joe and the comments. I noticed you have deleted a lot of your Posts but it seems not this one, anyway thank you for visiting us it is appreciated.

    As I was reading your message again, it reminded me of my comment on a few other Blogs who were also focusing on the same Scripture as yours, so I thought I share it with you.

    God does indeed keep His promises, past present and future and we are the Spiritual Children of the Promise, as Romans and Galatians tell us, (see below) and we do outnumber the grains of sand from the beginning to our Eternity in Heaven.

    Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

    Galatians 3:28-29 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the Promise.

    Jesus said, we don’t have if we don’t ask but we need to believe we have received too, yes when we ask according to His will, meaning in agreement with Him, will we receive.

    Luke 11:9-11 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

    1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.

    Christian Love Always from both of us – Anne.

  32. Good word my brother, I just wanted to comment also the verse is applicable today because it is the same intention yesterday as it is today, restoration of the lost children (Israel and the believer) to God. Look at it in context
    Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
    12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
    13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart..

  33. This is really a great topic here also there are a lot of topics that were been raised and answered. I really enjoyed reading it.

    Now, my concern is, I want to ask if this verse (Jeremiah 29:11) is still applicable for us? For example to each and every person who’s suffering from any circumstances. Or was just for the exile of the Babylonian? Also what this verse really means? (Theologically or Biblically explained) Thanks pastor Joe for any response. It will be highly appreciated.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Lester. Please review the last 3 paragraphs of my article again. Also, here is a more “theologically or biblically” explained answer to your question:

      To put this verse in context, we need to understand the summary of Jeremiah’s letter to the Jews in Babylon. Chapter 29 tells of further conflicts between Jeremiah and the religious leaders. Jeremiah had written a letter to the exiles in Babylonia, encouraging them to give up any false hopes of an early return (vv. 1–9), because it would be seventy years before the LORD would bring his people back (vv. 10–14). The fate of the people remaining in Judah would be worse than that of the captives (vv. 15–20), and the false prophets Ahab and Zedekiah would be roasted alive by King Nebuchadnezzar (vv. 21–23). Shemaiah, a leader among the exiles in Babylonia, wrote a letter to Zephaniah, the priest in Jerusalem, instructing him to treat Jeremiah as a madman (vv. 24–28). The LORD would punish Shemaiah for what he did (vv. 29–32).

      Regarding verse 11, in Hebrew both occurrences of the pronoun “I” are emphatic. Today’s English Version (TEV) attempts to reproduce this emphasis by rendering, “I alone know the plans I have for you.…” The Lord assured the exiles what had happened was not a series of unplanned, accidental events. He said, “I know the plans.” His plan was not intended to hurt them, but to give them “hope and a future.” He encouraged them to pray, for He would listen to them. Though seventy years must pass over them in exile, the Lord will not forget them, for He knows full well what His purpose is towards them—a purpose of restoring peace and prosperity.

      We can make at least two important applications from this: (1) realize even before the foundation of the world, God determined to remedy the evils which He foresaw sin would bring upon mankind; (2) pray when we are in difficult circumstances because God has appointed prayer as the means of obtaining His blessings.

      Hope this helps. God bless!

  34. Hi Jacob, I always like to read this verse through Jeremiahs eyes and personal experience. He was thrown into the sewerage pit. He was having a complaint to God about being covered in human excrement.

    It’s a personal encouragement to him by God, saying hey, I know my plans for you… you keep speaking forth my word – even if those around you don’t like it.

  35. The Holy Scripture is alive and breathing. It speaks to us today just as it did to the people it was written to at the time. It never goes out of date. Prophecies typically have a dispensation message and a spiritual message combined. If we ever take away from that, we will be destroying the very fabric of the Bible. After all, if scripture only applies to the time it was written, what happens to original sin? What happens to the texts in Deuteronomy 27 & 28? You can go through the whole of scripture and point out verses that, if said to be only for the time they were written, would change the way we think. I am so glad scripture applies today, and is alive in my life

  36. Thank you for this particular article on your blog. I’ve discussed this with ministry leaders and fellow believers in the past, not just about this passage, but others as well. The points you make apply to all scripture and we must be sure to see if the principle is applicable, as you say. I’ve been saying this for several years, even though I speak with people who would rather yank a verse out of context and use it to their own benefit. I can’t change them, I can only speak what is good teaching.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog recently and liking a post there. I look forward to reading more of your work.

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