Plucked Up & Torn Down
By Holli Worthington
Northpoint Women’s Ministries
“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …” – Jeremiah 33:6-9a
Hello Church Family,
It was not a very desirable job to be assigned to when God called Jeremiah to be his prophet and deliver God’s messages to his people. The message God wanted Jeremiah to deliver was that God was going to “pluck up” and “tear down” (Jeremiah1:10). This was not a terribly popular message. In fact, the people did not want to hear it at all. But leading up to this time and even throughout the time of Jeremiah’s preaching, God had given his beloved people many opportunities to turn back from following their own way and submit to God’s sovereign and loving will. Unfortunately, the people continued in their rebellious ways and did not submit to God.
In Jeremiah 31:28, God says, “As I have watched over them (emphasis mine) to pluck up and break down. …” Even as his children experienced the consequences of sin, God watched over them. And, in the midst of their sin, God had a plan and a purpose—because sin doesn’t derail God’s redemptive plans. Somehow, God weaves our sin into his good plans for his people. This is part of the mystery of his sovereignty. He does this without tempting us to sin, without wanting us to sin, and while still holding us accountable for our sin. And what the devil would rejoice in and use to destroy God’s people, God will use for the good of his people. The last part of verse 28 says, “So I will watch over them to plant and to build.”
God told Jeremiah that the reason he would pluck up and tear down was so that he could replant and rebuild. The time for pruning and repairing was over; God had plowed up the fields and torn down the buildings, and now God was going to do something new. Through the prophet Isaiah, he says to the people of Judah:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
The new thing God was going to do was to transform their hearts.
Dear church, it would seem that we, too, have been plucked up and torn down. Certainly, there were numerous times when we could have made different choices or turned back from the many things that brought us to this place, but God, in his sovereignty, has allowed us to be right where we are. And if God, who is all-powerful, all-wise, and all-good, allows something—then he has a redemptive purpose for it. There is cause for godly sorrow and repentance, (and we should pray for this because it is a gift from God), but there is no cause for despair and hopelessness.
Listen to what God says about the devastated city of Jerusalem that had been plucked up and torn down:
“Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. And this city shall be to me a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …”
I will heal.
I will restore.
I will cleanse.
I will forgive.
Maybe you have been hurt; God will heal. Maybe you have been wronged; God will restore. Maybe you are ashamed; God will cleanse. Maybe you’ve sinned; God will forgive.
One of the wonderful things about belonging to our sovereign God is that nothing is lost or wasted with him. He uses ALL things for our good if we surrender to his purpose of making us more like Jesus. Even our hurts. Even our sins. He sees them both and wants us to lay them at his feet.
Take heart church, for if there was hope in the days of Jeremiah, there is great hope for us! Ask God what needs plucking up or tearing down in your own heart and confidently hope in the promises of our faithful and loving God who says:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love” (31:3).
“With pleas for mercy I will lead them back” (31:9).
“My people shall be satisfied with my goodness” (31:14).
“There is hope for your future” (31:17).
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish” (31:25).
Let us all pray for soft hearts and eyes of faith that will perceive a new work of God. Let us pray that our church will be to God “a name of joy, and praise and a glory. …”