God Rejoices in Doing God for Us
I will rejoice in doing good to them, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul. (Jeremiah 32:41)
The land of Israel was defeated. Cities were left in ruin. Fields and vineyards were destroyed. The people were carried off against their will into exile in Babylon. Things could hardly be worse.
Into this setting of despair, the prophet Jeremiah offered a word of hope. Cities will be rebuilt. Fields and vineyards will be planted and thrive again. The people will come home. Yes, God will “rejoice in doing good” for the people “with all my heart and soul.”
Is it sometimes hard for you to hold on to a vision of God “doing good” for you?
At times, I fear, we sense God’s only purpose is to keep us in line. God sets rules and then, should we break or even bend those rules a touch, God punishes us by means of some cosmic karma. And if not the stern disciplinarian keeping a watchful eye on our every behavior, then perhaps we see God as indifferent, hardly caring what befalls us and certainly never intervening on our behalf.
These images of a vengeful God or an indifferent God are especially tempting when life has us down. When nothing in our own lives is going right and the world around us seems to be falling apart, how often do we cry out with the Psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Jeremiah understood. Jeremiah knew the people living in exile were struggling to believe that God was truly on their side. They needed to hear a word of hope. They needed to know God had not given them up. They needed the assurance that God was with them, and that God delighted in their joy.
Never let the world convince you that God has given up on you, or anyone. Since the beginning, God’s work is to push back the borders of chaos and create a living and thriving world for all. God truly rejoices in heaping upon us blessing upon blessing with all of God’s heart and soul.