10 “For thus says the LORD, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.
11 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.
12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.
13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
14 I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
1. This is an amazing promise, but not for you. It was for the exiles in Babylon in a letter written by Jeremiah, and is specifically concerning their situation. We should be careful about claiming promises that don’t pertain to us (such as v 11 and 12). You are not exiled in Babylon and will not return after 70 years to see your fortunes restored.
2. Though the promise isn’t for you, it indicates something about the heart of God for his covenant people. As New Covenant people, we know that God is for us. If anyone has hope and a future, it is us.
3. God’s promises are secure, but they often include our prayers and actions. Here, God says that the people will pray at the end of 70 years exile, and will seek the Lord with all their heart. God will hear their prayers. This is a great lesson that shows something of the ways of God at work in us to accomplish his desires. “I will be found by you,” God says, “when you search for me with all your heart.”