Jeremiah 29:11 says, “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.” I think this was one of the first verses I memorized when I got saved. I like so many others absolutely love the promise in this verse. But what I didn’t know then, but do know now is that this verse was given to the people of God before they were taken captive by the Babylonians. God spoke through Jeremiah to tell them this is what God’s plan is, even though you are about to go into captivity for 70 years under Babylonian rule. Can you imagine how hard it was to hear that promise, which is so rich, as you are about to be taken captive by another nation and brought to live as exiles for 70 years? This means, some of them would not outlive the 70 years, so this promise would outlive them. “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.”
What would behoove God to speak such a beautiful promise to them while at the same time not take away the Babylonians from them? Some promises give us strength to go through, while other promises are going to come true. Not everything God speaks to us is come true promises some of them are the very truth we need in order to walk through some hard things. The people of God needed to know before they went into captivity, that God had a plan in their captivity. God, who is all knowing, He knew what captivity would do for them. God was about to use captivity to set them free from captivity. How do I know, listen to what Jeremiah says their response will be to God after 70 years of captivity. Jeremiah 29:12 “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.” Prior to captivity, they were not seeking God they were worshipping idols.
No one wants to go into captivity, but God used captivity to set His captives free. This is nothing new for the Lord. He used the death of Jesus to defeat death. He used the famine of Elijah to break the famine in Israel. And don’t forget Esther was one of the exiles of Israel brought to Babylon and look what happened to her and how her captivity set her whole nation free in the midst of Babylon. God’s ways are higher than our ways, trust HIm and He will bring you into places you would never have wanted to go and He will bring you out into spaces you never thought you would be. He knows the plans He has for us!