11. For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace, and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
12. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.
13. Then you will seek Me, inquire for and require Me (as a vital necessity) and find Me; when you search for Me; with all your heart,
14. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you again to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive. Amp.
This message was sent as such: Thus, saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the captives whom I have caused to be carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: (vs.4)
This was His judgment as He said He caused them to be carried away captive to Babylon. Why did He send them away? He explains in verse 13. The captivity will cause them to seek Him with all their heart.
They had let other loves in their heart and did not require the Lord as a vital necessity. That is idolatry. They had been warned time after time not to serve the gods of the other nations. But they continued to disobey that commandment. So, this was the perfect way to teach them how to stop.
They were sent to a place where idolatry was the normal way of life. He was telling them, “Go ahead if this is what you want, but you won’t have Me.” They were there 70 years. Then He brought them back. They had learned how it felt to live in the darkness without Him. He still protected them. He showed up for the few who sought Him with all their heart.
John 12:46 I have come a Light into the world, so that whoever believes on Me –who cleaves to, trusts in, and relies on Me may not continue to live in darkness.
47. If anyone hears My teachings and fails to observe them — does not keep them but disregards them — it is not I who judges them…
48. Anyone who rejects Me and persistently sets Me at naught, refusing to accept My teachings, has his judge…
Israel is our example. He wants the first place in our heart. He says it over and over. This is nothing new. He will again send His people into captivity and wait for them to seek Him with all their heart.
Proverbs 21:21 He who earnestly seeks after and craves righteousness, mercy and loving-kindness will find life in addition to righteousness and also honor.
SUBJECT – LOVE – CH SPURGEON
The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affections to Christ in return. Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the core and heart of their being; and therefore, from its own force burned its way into the outer man and shone there. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love.