“….I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you…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. And ye shall seek Me and find me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 10b through 14a).
We are made in God’s image…and God is a thinking God. What He does not know cannot be known. In other words, there is nothing He is not aware of. God is not an abstract Being, clutching a cold set of laws etched in stone. He has a loving personality, thus His thoughts are not vague but definite. Often we must accept His will for our individual lives by faith. Although God does have a detailed road map, He does not always show it to us. As He reveals them to us, God’s dynamic and eternal thoughts can be brought down into the hearts of individual believers.
God thinks and His thoughts are definite plans, not nostalgic romanticism or philosophies. God is perfect within Himself and therefore does not carry out His plans according to our whims. His thinking requires no approval on our part. Although it is His will that all come to know Him through His Son, He will continue to exist regardless of man’s response to Him. God gives us a solid foundation on which to build our hopes. He never builds on sand.
This passage contrasts God’s thoughts with the dreams and empty words of the false prophets. God promises the Jews that He will visit them in mercy, but for their sins they will first suffer seventy years of captivity. God lets them know up front that the captivity will be long, but they are not to fear that God has rejected them. The necessary chastisement will ultimately bring deliverance. “I know My thoughts” stand in stark contrast to those of the clueless false prophets. Through God’s words here, we are encouraged to line up with His thoughts….not our own.
Because of their relationship with God, their present was linked to their future. However, He never leads His people to believe their deliverance will be automatic. A positive response to Him in faith is prerequisite for redemption. Even when He must punish, the end of the chastisement is blessing. These verses contain the promise of a bright future for Israel, but the real point here is that God always knows the end from the beginning. His actions agree perfectly with His thoughts. And God is never unsure of Himself. His thoughts about us are “good, not evil.” The Lord desires to give us a destiny and a hope, thus He encourages us not to build on the words of false teachers. The sorrows of such an exile should result in a realization of their sin, sorrow for their transgressions and a desire to return to God with a repentant spirit. “Then ye will pray to Me and I will hearken unto you” (v. 12).
Human thoughts are often incomplete, fragmentary or twisted. But God understands everything perfectly and always knows how and why He intends to act. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 55:8).
When we accept His will for our lives, we may consider ourselves “graduated” into a higher spiritual level. What does GRADUATION mean?
G oing forward
R eady to
A ccept God’s will;
D etermined to
U nderstand His Word;
A lert to
I nterested in
O thers; and
N ever forgetting that Christ is my Master.