The Negative Is Positive

The Lord told the prophet Jeremiah, "See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant" (Jeremiah 1:10 KJV). When we read this verse and we think about the prophet Jeremiah, we usually have a negative perspective on what the Lord was doing. We see "root out," "pull down," "destroy," and "throw down," and we miss the point that the Lord is making. The Lord said He was doing the rooting out, pulling down, destroying, and throwing down in order to build and plant. The Lord was removing the elements that would prevent rebuilding something better.

This theme is repeated more than once in the book of Jeremiah. God tells the people of Judah through Jeremiah that He was going to send some of the people to Babylonian captivity for their own good. Those that stayed behind in Jerusalem would be judged (Jeremiah 24:1-10). This logic seems to be backwards, but the Lord was separating the bad from the good so that He could rebuild.

God's process includes negatives in order to get the best positive outcome. It is like a battery, which must have a negative pole as well as a positive pole in order to generate any power. Often, the key to victory in potentially negative situations is the understanding that the Lord removes, destroys, and pulls down some things in order to build and plant. The Lord also said to Jeremiah, "For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord. thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end" (Jeremiah 29:11).