Jeremiah 29:11 – For I Know the Plans

Gary W. Ritter

(Jeremiah 29-30; Titus 1)

In the days of Jeremiah, God brought the nation of Babylon against Judah, the Southern Kingdom, just as He had done with her sister Israel, the Northern Kingdom, at the hand of the Assyrians.  There were two groups of people at this time: those who went submissively into captivity and those who rebelled so as not to go into bondage.  Under normal circumstances, we might think the latter group would be the people that pleased God.  After all, the Babylonians were pagans who worshiped false gods.  Surely the Lord wouldn’t want His Chosen People to live in their midst and be corrupted by idols and lies.  For them to simply capitulate and meekly go under the jackboot of their enemy, and to be subject to all his wicked ways, seems wrong.  But this wasn’t the case.  God actually wanted Judah to be exiled to Babylon.

At this time of decision, prophets arose in Judah who spoke in the Name of the Lord telling the people not to allow themselves to be fooled and go to Babylon.  Even for those who went, prophets spoke out when they were there against that captivity.  They promised a quick return to Jerusalem.  God had a Word about these various prophets that He conveyed in Jeremiah 29:8-9:

“For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.”

These men were speaking from either their own imagination or through demonic inspiration.  They were not men of God bringing forth His Word.  In fact, Jeremiah 29:17-19 relates what the Lord said about these false prophets:

“‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs that are so rotten they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they did not pay attention to my words, declares the Lord, that I persistently sent to you by my servants the prophets, but you would not listen, declares the Lord.’”

God found their prophetic utterances so profane and contrary to His will, that He promised they would meet a terrible end in one of the three major ways He operated.  They would be pursued and ultimately killed through either sword, famine, or pestilence.  In other words, war would cause their demise, they would starve to death, or a wasting illness or plague would come upon them.  They spoke words that God did not give them, and they made His Word a curse in their mouths.  The people rejected the true prophets that He sent because these false ones brought false hopes that God never intended.  They greatly corrupted the hearts of those who heard them.

Why was it so bad that these men spoke falsely and relayed words not of God?  It’s because the Lord had a different agenda, and His intent would not be thwarted by such men.  Jeremiah 29:10-14 declares Yahweh’s purposes for His people:

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.’”

For far too long in the land that God had given them, the Israelites had ignored and rejected Him.  They had pursued pagan gods and set Yahweh aside as an afterthought.  They had practiced sexual immorality and lived as though they were pagans themselves who had no true God.  Their poor choices, their apathy toward the Lord, and their depraved lifestyle had kindled God’s ire against them.  Like disobedient, rebellious children, they required punishment so as to come to their senses to once more obey their Father.  In His requiring them to go into captivity in Babylon, it’s analogous to a child being sent to his room to think about his sins for the purpose of getting his mind right about proper behavior.

What were they to do in Babylon?  They were to settle down and make a living.  In the midst of these foreign peoples, God would watch out for them, even that they might prosper in that place.  More than that, God actually urged them to pray for those pagans around them.  In so doing, God assured them that the welfare of their enemies would return upon them for their benefit. (Jeremiah 29:4-7)

After seventy years of this timeout from their land, of learning once more who they were in the Lord, and in seeking His face, God would make a way for them to return once they’d learned their lesson.

This was why the false prophets were a problem.  If the people followed them and stayed in Jerusalem, they wouldn’t come back spiritually to God.  They would continue in their abominable ways.  None of God’s plans for their redemption could occur.

What about us today?  Is there a parallel of sorts in what is happening in the world around us and to the Body of Christ?  I think there is.

I’ve said it before, but this is a time of shaking before the return of Jesus for His true church in the Rapture.  There are prophets declaring a Great Awakening.  There are others saying we must gird our loins to go through the Tribulation.  Only a very few of us (not prophets by any means! – simply those who read the Word of God) are taking the Biblical stance that Jesus will return for true believers to snatch us from this lost and dying world just prior to God letting loose His wrath upon it.

What is the result of this?  Well, if the church thinks a Great Awakening is coming, then all is well.  Obviously, with this mindset, few changes are required, and God’s people can continue doing what they’ve done for years.  They can essentially rest easy believing they are obeying God and fulfilling their duties to Him.  No urgency is required.  The Lord simply wants them to live as they have within the four walls of the church.  He’ll make a way for the Seven Mountain Mandate to be fulfilled so that His people can take over the world and prepare it for Jesus’ coming at some future time.

As to those who believe we’ll endure the indignities of the Tribulation, then preparation for that, essentially an inward-looking approach, is the right thing.  After all, God will surely supernaturally protect His people during this time as they hunker in their bunker.  The world around them will tear itself apart, but they’ll be secure in the midst of the Lamb’s wrath.  Their belief that they should be looking for the appearance of the Antichrist is correct.  Since Jesus won’t come to rescue them from these coming seven years, they have to make sure their own house is in order to make it through.  Their own efforts will prove to be the deciding factor in this regard.

In contrast to these two views is that of belief in the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church.  Things are not okay in God’s house.  There is way too much complacency and apathy toward Him.  We are Laodicea on steroids: lukewarm or cold.  There is no burning hunger for the Lord.  Apostasy is the rule of the day.  There is a void of God’s Word among those who should know better.  Because few read the Bible and understand what God plans are for this world, those who are awake and watching for the Lord’s return are scarce.  There is certainly no urgency to call out unbelievers that some might be saved before the wrath of God descends.

How many of us are truly living for the Lord rather than for ourselves?  We are fearful for our very lives.  We ignore God’s command to come together in His Name by obeying governmental decrees saying we must not meet.  Man’s word is preeminent, not the Word of Christ.

I think it comes down to obedience.  The Israelites who obeyed God and went into captivity were the ones He honored and saved.  How about in our situation?  I don’t know how it will play out with true believers who cling to the Great Awakening meme or the Tribulation endurance narrative.  Those aren’t obedient positions according to God’s Word.  I would think there will be consequences of some sort.

Only by being watchmen on the wall, crying out that darkness is approaching, and by proclaiming to those around us that the only salvation is in Christ alone, are we truly obeying what the Lord desires for us.  Are we occupying by doing what God has set us to do while we wait?  Are we digging into God’s Word with increasing hunger?  Are we looking up with anticipation?

I choose this Biblical response to the times in which we live.  How about you?

The Lord has put it on my heart to always read completely through His Word at least once each year.  From that practice, it resulted in my producing the Awaken Bible Study Notes, a 4-volume set correlating with each quarter’s readings.  This is the link to Amazon for Volume 1 covering January – March (Genesis 1 – Judges 5; Matthew 1 – Luke 7):

Awaken Bible Study Notes series Volume 1

Following that year’s efforts, God gave me the “assignment” of writing a daily essay on what I had read.  That produced the 4-volume Awaken Bible Commentary and Reflections series.  Here is the link on Amazon to Volume 1, which covers January – March (Genesis 1 – Judges 5; Matthew 1 – Luke 7):

Awaken Bible Commentary and Reflections series Volume 1

If these daily writings have been a blessing to you, I hope that you’ll acquire these books for further study.  My intent in all I write is to bring God the glory and to make His people think.  Both the Study Notes and the Commentary and Reflections delve into the prophetic and supernatural nature of God’s Word, a combination you simply won’t find elsewhere.  They attempt to show the parallels to our times with the peril from the past when God’s people turn away from Him and His commands.  Scripture is very much a blueprint for today.

Gary W. Ritter is a lay pastor, Bible teacher, and prolific author.  His Whirlwind Series comprises three end-times books: Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind, and There Is a Time.  These books are contained in the collected volume of the Whirlwind Omnibus.  Gary has written many other Christian thrillers that will challenge you, and which you can learn about at his website:  You can also watch Gary’s video Prophecy Updates on Rumble at his Awaken Bible Prophecy channel:

5 thoughts on “Jeremiah 29:11 – For I Know the Plans

  1. Mark V

    Far too often this is taken out of context and used as a motivational tool to aquire some worldy benefit. It was a call to endure their chatisement. Not many of those who went into captivity would ever see their homeland again after 70 years. Our promise of a better life is eternal fellowship with our Lord and Savior. Yes I choose the Biblical response to the times we live.

  2. Robin L.

    There is so much spiritual misdirection in the world. Many ‘Christians’ have been deceived. The idea that we are going to enter into a new and Great Awakening before Jesus returns would be laughable if it wasn’t so clearly heretical.

    A misinterpretation of the timing of the Rapture is a secondary issue, not paramount to salvation. For a long time I held the Post Tribulation Rapture position but that didn’t mean I didn’t love and trust the Lord. Through much prayer and study I have come to a solid pre-trib Rapture view.

    God is CLEAR about what we must believe to be saved: grieve and repent of our sins, declare we need Jesus, who we recognize is the only Son of God sent to be our perfect substitute, who we believe willingly died for us on the cross, conquered death and sin and rose again on the 3rd day, and to live in obedience to His commands as the fruit of (but not the source of) our faith…proclaiming the gospel to all. No where is there any penalty for our position on the Rapture.

    Nevertheless I believe we need to be careful, as Lights in the World, of discouraging other Believers with fear of the Tribulation, and yet failing to warn the unsaved that the time is short to escape the judgement to come. It’s kind of a paradox but it can, and must, be done. We can’t lose our salvation but we can lose rewards in Heaven by failing in these areas.

    We must continue to pray, spread the good news, listen for the trumpet and look up…we are expectantly watching for Jesus because He is coming soon. (I find it pretty easy to look up these days 😉😇🙏.)

    Happy New Year Gary!

  3. saintsnotaints

    Excellent study on this. I might add that perhaps God gave a 2nd chance to those not carted off?? There were 2 carting offs to babylon close together. At first those carted off were the royality, the religious heirarchy and the wealthy and shakers and makers.almost like a deep state carting off. Most population was at first not carted off to babylon. A jewish governor was appointed to rule judah for babylon. Maybe a 2nd chance given by God? But even if so, judah went into a civil war against itself after a jew killed the jewish governor so babylon that started rule fairly benign went in full force to crush the anarchy and carted off more population and much also fled to arabia, egypt and beyond. A 2nd chance may have been given but if so they blew it away fairly quickly.

  4. Jimmy Cossey II

    Matthew 13:27-30 (HCSB)

    27 The landowner’s slaves came to him and said, ‘Master, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Then where did the weeds come from?’

    28 “‘An enemy did this!’ he told them. “‘So, do you want us to go and gather them up?’ the slaves asked him.

    29 “‘No,’ he said. ‘When you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them.

    30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn.’”

    [How many times have we read this passage by Jesus Himself without realizing that the weeds, or the wicked, will be gathered first?]

    Also in Rev. 20;4 it says…

    Then I saw thrones, and people seated on them who were given authority to judge. I also saw the people who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of God’s word, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and who had not accepted the mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for 1,000 years.

    [How did they get beheaded for their testimony and for not accepting the mark of the beast if they were raptured out?]

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