Between The Lines

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (CSB)
For I know the plans I have for you” — this is the Lord’s declaration — “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

The Old Testament is full of prophetic writings and parallels that translate to New Testament writings and even into our day to day lives literally thousands of years later.

The eleventh verse of this passage I find to be among the most comforting verses in God’s Word. Paired with the next two I find peace beyond measure.

God has established a course for our journey in this life a literally beyond our time here and throughout eternity!

Stack everything on these three verses because what they tell us is that God is NOT some abstract supernatural being that we must struggle to gain favor with or face his wrath.

What it actually is telling us refers to a caring father who has a specific interest in all of us.

It tells us of a Holy Judge of discernment that holds the power and will to pardon our transgressions if we but only turn to Him with all of our hearts.

With this declaration God drives a stake firmly into the ground of our fallen condition, that He intends to redeem His creation by whatever means necessary!

Ultimately proven out so clearly that He had already decided that to accomplish this He would send His Son to be the final atoning sacrifice by which He will redeem us, and claim us as His children.

Moving forward to the past

I’ve drawn several conclusions here between the lines of these three verses so in order to provide clarity lets go forward from the writing in Jeremiah to later records that bare out these conclusions.

We’ve talked in the past about ‘Who’ God is and for the context of this discussion it is important to consider that when examining what God was conveying at the time of the writing in Jeremiah.

Remember, God, our God, is all powerful, timeless, omnipresent, and omniscient (knows all there is to know about everything for all periods of time).

Therefore when we consider these verse in Jeremiah we should also consider the perspective of the author (no not the writer of the book of Jeremiah but the one who put the language in the mind of the writer.) God!

God, was aware of the what he would ask of his Son in the ensuing years, to chart a pathway of redemption for all.  He knew the costs, he knew the fall out, he knew the pain that would be imparted on his beloved Son.  Furthermore, God also was aware at the time, the courses we would be on today as individuals.  He knew at that time if we had availed ourselves of his ‘plan’ for redemption, or if we had thus far chosen to not embrace that pool of Grace that has been secured on our behalf.  He is after all, God!

So it was with all this understanding that God said “I have plans for you” and “plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”  When you consider this, you begin to realize just how broad reaching and at the same time, how very specific these plans are.  They encompassed the nation of Israel and their sporadic obedience to God, these plans also include all the events and decisions you’ve made up to this point as well as those of your parents and your parents parents for generations and generations. All of that and he said ‘I have plans for you’.  Good plans.  Plans for your benefit.

That plan becomes evident in God’s sending His Son, Jesus.

Romans 3:25-26 (CSB)
God presented him as an atoning sacrifice in his blood, received through faith, to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his restraint God passed over the sins previously committed. God presented him to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so that he would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

And the why?

John 3:16 (CSB)
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

So part of the plan, (which by the way was established before the beginning of time as we know it because God knew then what was to be) was to send Jesus to live among us sinless and perfect and to become the perfect lamb of God to be sacrificed on our behalf.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB)
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God’s law called for sacrifice to cover sin and cleanse people.  Even though this was done regularly at the time, this method was imperfect because no sacrifice was perfect. Literally only God (Jesus in the flesh) is perfect.

Romans 3:10 (CSB)
as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.

And God being a just God incapable of residing in the presence of sin demands righteousness.

Romans 8:3-4 (CSB)
What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Ultimately Christ covers our sin making us righteous by His sacrifice and making us righteous in the eyes of God the Father.

1 Peter 2:24 (CSB)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

The timelessness of the passage

So, obviously the original writing was Focused on Israel and God’s plans specifically for them. But considering God to be God with all of His attributes, we also can without any stretch consider that God was also looking forward to part of His grand plan would include the redemption of His creation.

Ephesians 2:10 (CSB)
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

But our ‘all knowing’ God still would have perceived further down the path to the point where we make a decision to submit to Him or walk away.

Acts 17:30-31 (CSB)
“Therefore, having overlooked the times of ignorance, God now commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has set a day when he is going to judge the world in righteousness by the man he has appointed. He has provided proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

And those plans extend to our day to day lives as believers.  He has that planed out as well.

Ephesians 1:9-10 (CSB)
He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time — to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him.

So when we read the trailing part of this passage it reinforces just what God is telling us.  He’s planned all this, so hen he say we will call on Him and He will listen, He is serious!

“You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.”

The lines and the spaces between them are pretty clear that God is seeking more than an interaction, He wants an integration with our every step.

Matthew 6:26-30 (CSB)
Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you — you of little faith?

So what is between the lines? This isn’t a God that is hidden away from our lives.  He lives for us and in us and wants to be fully a part of every moment.


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