“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11
“Christians love this verse,” he writes. “It has all the ideas and values we crave: prosperity, safety, security, hope, longevity. It’s the verse we most associate with the book of Jeremiah.”
Yet, as Koons is quick to remind us, the “bigger picture” of Jeremiah 29 is far less rosy. Jeremiah is writing to a displaced people living in a strange land, struggling to understand how they might live peacefully and fruitfully in the here and now while keeping their sights and spirits focused on the not yet.
“Somehow, we’ve forgotten that Jeremiah 29:11 is written in the midst of unspeakable calamity,” Koons writes, and perhaps it’s because “we fail to recognize that all of Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles, not just Jeremiah 29:11, still applies to us today.” (more…)