Question: In Light Of So Many Verses In Scripture That You Provide About God Punishing Sin How Do You Explain “Jeremiah 29:11”?
Donald Bohanon: The verse in Jeremiah 29:11 is in relation to the righteous and or obedient.That particular verse is actually directed at the children of Israel and even Judah specifically at that time.
But applies to any righteous and obedient individual.Which is defined as those who faithfully keep and follow the commandments and the word of God as a whole and who are led by and or filled with the holy spirit and bear fruit.
God is basically informing them in this particular verse his heartfelt desire for them is peace and not to do evil to them and or harm them.
But that has always been conditional and in relation to their righteousness and obedience.Never is it related to blatant rebellion and defiance.How could he have a desire for peace for them and not to harm/do evil to them,but yet destroy them,or send nations against them to destroy them at the same time?Well,that’s what he did, he destroyed many of them and sent the rest into captivity.
Because that statement or verse was in relation to their obedience.Essentially what God is saying is his desire for them is peace and not to harm or do evil to them if they obeyed.They eventually rebelled and turned their backs on God and were destroyed because of it.God had blessed them with everything and they repaid his goodness with treachery and defiance.
They rebelled in abominable ways which amounted them burning their own sons and daughters alive as sacrifices to demons they called God’s,among many other very offensive practices.Any time they turned their backs on God,in abominable defiance,evidenced by their behavior, they were punished for it and eventually destroyed.
When they obeyed they were blessed. Anytime you read verses where God is emphasizing blessings and favor it’s normally in relation to the righteous and obedient,not as it relates to the wicked or haters of God.Normally when a verse is emphasizing punishment and curses it’s in relation to the disobedient,wicked and or ungodly.
Righteousness produces favor and rebellion produces destruction.God does not change and this has been consistent with his character throughout scripture.Many false ministers will use this and one or two other verses in scripture they take out of context to suggest God is speaking to the wicked as well as the righteous.But that is not the case.
Careful, honest and unbiased study of scripture, will make that plain to you.When you study the Old Testament and New Testament for instance you will see a consistent pattern of God emphasizing blessings for obedience and punishment and destruction for evil. It applied anciently and it still applies today because God does not change.
It’s emphasized repeatedly in the New Testament as well.Obedience produces favor.Rebellion produces destruction.Jeremiah 29:11 is no different and means the same thing..Unless of course you take the verse out of context in a deceptive effort to try and justify the wicked and rebellious.
And in so doing deceptively and falsely justify their abominable sin and rebellion as well.Which is something God would never do or encourage.He always condemns evil abominable behavior and emphasizes there will be serious consequences for it,as opposed to justifying and encouraging it.As many false unlearned ministers do(justify and encourage it) to their eventual detriment and destruction….Isaiah 5:20-25, Romans 16:17-18,2 Corinthians 11:13-15,2 Peter 2:1-3.