Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Misused Verse #3

     This misused verse is not a bad misuse, as long as it is used within limits, but I expect it could be a little controversial to discuss, due to the fact that so many pastors (mine included) use it. Generally, this verse is ok to use, as long as it is used within a spiritual context. But, if it is applied to every aspect of our lives, then it can be very misleading to non-believers. The verse that I am referring to is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." [a] Also peace.
     Like I said previously, this verse is often interpreted to mean Christians will be prosperous in every thing they do in this life. I believe this is an incorrect assumption. First, because of context.
     Most passages in the Bible, including this one, have an address label. Jeremiah 29:1-2 outlines this "1These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 2This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchs, the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem." This not only gives us an address, but also a time. Not to be rude, but unless you can trace you ancestry back to the exiles who were taken from Jerusalem after King Jeconiah and the others listed there, then this verse doesn't really apply to you, sorry.

     Secondly, there are other verses that we Christians can look to that apply specifically to us, that promise better things than a good life now. See: Matthew 25:14-30, 25:31-40; Mark 9:35-37; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; 2 Cor. 4:14 & 16-18; and 1 Pet. 5:4. Among countless others. Note that these verses almost all warn that this body is temporary, and that our reward is eternal glory, not riches in this life.

     Finally, I want to reinstate that I am not condemning the use of this verse, as long as it is used as applying to our spiritual peace and prosperity. That being said, It should still be used with caution, even while it is being used in a spiritual context.

      I am extremely sorry for the long wait for this new blog post, and I will try to be a little better about posting in the next few months, but no guarantees, college started for me. Although the Word of God takes priority over college, blogging about it does not.


  1. The reason I even count this as a misuse of the verse is because if we can apply this one to ourselves, then it opens up all of the OT for application to ourselves. And you can see were that would lead to issues. Please, any questions, comments, concerns, or accusations that you have on any post here, post them. I cannot guarantee that all of your accusations will remain posted after I see them (jk0, but I will gladly take a look at them and consider how I can adjust my statements or stances to correct any wrongs.

  2. I'm not sure why I haven't commented on this yet, because while you're quite right about it not being applicable physically, it is definitely applicable. In fact (and I will give this to you without references so feel free to disagree), the whole bible is applicable to us; I say that mostly because it's God's Word, which means it's alive, which means that God didn't write different sections for people living in different time periods. All of it is for all of His.

    Just food for thought.

  3. Well, I agree to a point. I believe that the OT was written for two reasons, 1) to show us what God expects to get into heaven (The Law), and 2) to show us why we need a savior and to predict what the savior will be and do. Otherwise, if the whole Bible was written to apply to us, passages such as Exodus 12:3-8 apply to us. I won't type out th whole passage, but it is when God tells Israel in Egypt to slaughter a lamb, paint the blood on the door posts, and then cook and eat the meat with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Obviously, while we still take communion, which came out of remembering the Passover, we no longer slaughter a lamb and paint the blood on the door posts (if we did PETA, the ASPCA, and every other animal rights group would hunt us down...). This verse no longer applies to us, because we now have the communion, which is remembering Christ's atoning sacrifice, which the Passover predicts (this is what Bible scholars call a "type" or picture of Christ).
    In summary, I agree that the whole Bible is the Living Word of God (it and no other), but I believe that some portions were written to point to Christ, because the whole Bible is about him.

    Excellent feedback, thank you. I have read your other comments, and I will get back to you shortly on those. Thanks for reading!


If you are new to this blog, please read the rules of the blog and the mission of the blog pages. If you have read those, then please feel free to post away! You can find the mission of the blog in the archives for August 2011.