Jer 24:4-7 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.
There are 66 books in the Bible and of the 66 there are some that when you are reading cover to cover that you just don’t look forward to diving into. Now I hear you “Blasphemy” you say; and as i sit here in the airport, I feel bad for even saying it. But I’m just being honest. Jeremiah is one of those books for me. I love God and I love His Word (Jesus), but I really don’t enjoy this book.
Now it holds some of the most famous promises in it (and I know that), like 1:5 God knew us before we even got here or 29:11 God’s plans for us. If I were to dig deep enough as to why I feel this way, there are probably a few reasons. Maybe its because the book is so long, it feels like it will never end. Or, maybe because it’s a highly emotional book, with a lot love, hate, anger and forgiveness; and I’m while im working on my emotional intelligence, it’s honestly a struggle. Or maybe it’s because of the fierce anger expressed throughout the book followed by loving and encouraging words then anger again; its a reminder of the anger remembered as a child an the mentality to duck for cover (working on that too). Two separate messages all together.
With all that said, this scripture stands out to me in the midst of many declarations of judgement for the actions of the children of Israel and their repercussions of disobeying God, there is hope. They are experiencing judgement for worshiping other idols and neglecting the law; and yet here are some words of comfort. The Lord is letting some of those being exiled know that He has his eyes on them and He is actually using this situation to get them out of a bad situation and will be drawing them to Himself. Let’s look:
- He Sees the Best in You: “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: ‘Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah……For I will set My eyes on them for good. Good Fruit; that is what God is looking for and what He seeks in all of us. It is what He sees in you and I. Now our current situation, may not look like it; it couldn’t possibly be what He sees; but God is trustworthy, you can believe what he says (Always has been and always will be). Sometimes our situation is being used to put a little “fire” under our behinds, to motivate us or to push us a little closer to Jesus. Notice, He says that we are good fruit; He did not say we are acting like it or that we deserve to be good fruit. We are not righteous because of what we’ve done, we become righteous when we accept Jesus Christ as savior. Our righteousness is based on Jesus’ actions and not ours. God, just like in Jeremiah’s day, is looking beyond the current situation and deeper than their current actions and seeing their fruit. Be encouraged, He’s looking beyond your faults and shortcomings to see His fruit (in You).
- He Knows What’s Best For You: whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. Often God will move you, change your current circumstances, get you out of a bad relationship, even though you may not agree. Yet God’s ways are not our ways (Isa 55). We cannot trust in our heart and our opinions, we have to trust in the Lord (Pro 3:5). God has already created the end of our story, His screenplay is completed and He’s confident in how it will play out. Trust Him to know what is best for you and your family. Believe me God wants better for you even more than you do.
- He Will Restore and Strengthen You: and I will bring them back to this land; I will build them and not pull them down, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. Change always produces growth, sometimes that growth hurts, causIng great pain and teaches lessons that we did not even realize that we needed to learn. Change sometimes leads to loss; loss of relationship, money, reputation, etc. When a boxer looses, it often leaves him/her flat on the mat; completely spent, disoriented and physically drained. I’m sure that even those of us who are not boxers have felt this same type of pain when we encounter change.
Loss often leaves a void and it is a void that we thought we could fill; only to now comprehend, that this void can only be filled by God. Which is why He promises to build us back up and bring us back to where we once were, but He also plants us there which means that we will have to continue growing but now in an environment where we can excel and thrive. God will never leave us where we were, He’s always desired for us to be where He’s planned for us and not where we’re comfortable.
- He Wants to Win Your Heart: Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart. When God changes your heart it is through something that He has done on your behalf. After all it is the goodness of God leads you to repentance (Rom 2:4). Whether it is a miracle that you’ve been praying for; The Holy Spirit opening your eyes to see His plans for you; maybe God has rescued you from a negative situation or He’s moved your heart to feel more of what He feels. The text says that God will give them a heart to know Me. The word “know” here is multifaceted so I will not go to deep into it. Let’s just say that the heart God gives us will allow us to learn more about Jesus; perceive what He sees and feels; discriminate or distinguish between what is Jesus and what is not; to experience Jesus like never before; to acknowledge all that Jesus is doing in your life and so much more. You will forever be God’s, because you now have a heart for Jesus and you will never know a greater love. This new clarity will make you All In for God and don’t worry He will do it uniquely geared to you so don’t try to be like someone else, just let God dictate who you are becoming in Him and most of all Enjoy the journey. .