Items posted on 14 July 2010
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Jeremiah 29.8-12 – Waiting Upon God
Posted: 14 July 2010 in Jeremiah

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. 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. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

In this passage, the captives whom Nebuchadnezzar deported from Judea have God’s plans set out before them. It is made clear to them that there will be no swift return to their homeland, although it is God’s intention that their descendants will return eventually.

Inevitably these words from God do not meet with a glad reception. Human beings like things to happen on a human timescale, and ten or twenty years are the most they are normally prepared to contemplate. Just as inevitable, therefore, is the arrival of false prophets on the scene. They tell people what they want to hear, and they get listened to in preference to the words of Jeremiah.

These people were not exceptionally sinful. At one time or another, we all have been guilty of trying to put our own plans into effect – even when we half suspect that God’s will for us may be quite other than our own will for ourselves. Only after we have had our plans repeatedly thwarted does God reduce us (finally) to the state of obedience which should have been ours all along. It then turns out that doing God’s will is a whole lot easier than our repeated attempts to do our own.