When It All Goes to Pot, Buy a Field

Can you imagine God sending you to the President of the
United States to tell him he’s about to lose the “throne” to an enemy because he’s
neglected God? And the President had all the power to put you in prison for
that…or worse? If there were no such thing as freedom of speech?
Well that’s sort of what happened with Jeremiah the prophet.
Check it:
“This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah in
the tenth year Zedekiah was king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar.  At
that time the army of the king of Babylon was surrounding Jerusalem. Jeremiah
the prophet was under arrest in the courtyard of the guard, which was at the
palace of the king of Judah.
Zedekiah king of Judah
had put Jeremiah in prison there. Zedekiah had asked, “Why have you prophesied
the things you have?” (Jeremiah had said, “This is what the Lord says: ‘I
will soon hand the city of Jerusalem over to the king of Babylon, and he will
capture it. Zedekiah king of Judah will not escape from the Babylonian
army, but he will surely be handed over to the king of Babylon. And he will
speak to the king of Babylon face to face and see him with his own eyes.  The
king will take Zedekiah to Babylon, where he will stay until I have punished
him,’ says the Lord. ‘If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not
succeed.’”)” Jeremiah 32:1-5
Didn’t matter that the king didn’t like what Jeremiah had to
say. Didn’t matter he imprisoned him for it.
“If you fight against the Babylonians, you will not succeed.”
God had a plan. It involved some serious discipline.
Intended to bring repentance. And it was part of a conditional promise God had
made to His people. They broke their end and turned after other gods.
Sacrificed their babies to the demon god Molech through fire on the very
rooftops of their homes.
And God allowed, key word here: allowed, Nebuchadnezzar to
be the instrument of discipline. He brought his troops in, over a period of
time, and ransacked the city taking many captive (including Daniel).
But in the following verses, God does something weird. He
tells Jeremiah that his cousin is coming to see him and to sell him a field. By
law, next of kin had rights to buy property (redeem it; like in the story of
Ruth) if a family member was in financial troubles.
Sure enough, the cousin comes and tells Jeremiah to buy the
field from him.
He’s just prophesied that their land was about to be in
ruins. Destroyed.
Jeremiah says to God, ““Look! The enemy has surrounded the
city and has built roads to the top of the walls to capture it. Because of war,
hunger, and terrible diseases, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians
who are attacking it. You said this would happen, and now you see it is
happening.  But now, Lord God, you tell me,
‘Buy the field with silver and call in witnesses.’ You tell me this while the
Babylonian army is ready to capture the city.” Jeremiah 32:24-25
In other words: Have you lost your mind, Lord? You’re making
me look like an idiot!
“Hey ya’ll Ole Neb’s about to do us in…well, you guys
anyway. Me? Well I’m gonna buy a field. Are you kidding me?”
The Lord said (paraphrase) “I am going to do these things. I
haven’t lost my mind. You see it’s not over until it’s over.”
it’s not over until God says it’s over.
“I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth.
Nothing is impossible for me.” Jeremiah 32:7
He goes on to explain why He’s allowing this tragedy to
befall the people, but He ends with a promise.
“This is what the Lord says: “I have brought this
great disaster to the people of Israel and Judah. In the same way I will bring
the good things that I promise to do for them.” Jeremiah 32:42
Verse 44: “…They will again buy fields in the land of
Benjamin, in the area around Jerusalem, in the towns of Judah and in the
mountains, in the western hills, and in southern Judah. I will make everything
as good for them as it once was,” says the Lord.”
Do you
feel like things are crashing down around you? Burning to the ground? Do you
wonder where God is? If He even cares about you?
It’s through trials and tragedies, we learn to trust most.
He cares. What seems to be an ash heap, can be rebuilt.
Reborn. Reclaimed.
Sometimes it’s consequences for our sins and poor choices and
sometimes simple pruning (though nothing feels simple at the time, does it?)
that leads us into these kinds of circumstances.
In this context, the people had turned their back on God,
chasing other lovers. Putting things before God, after promising never to do
may last a night, but joy comes in the morning.
God planned to restore what was being lost. To bring back a repentant
Jeremiah buying that field at God’s request was a living
picture of God’s love for His people.
He loves you.
It ain’t over till it’s over.
Do you like reading the Old Testament?Why or why not?


Happy 4th tomorrow! What are your big plans?

Musing on Genesis 37:19 Always Dream

In the words of
Lennon, “Some may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.”
Are you a dreamer?
Wednesday, we’ll be
talking about God-given dreams, always dreaming, and we’ll take a closer look
at a fictional character who brings us truth through a melody. Dreams can and
do come true.
Musing/Meditation Prompts: Think of your
dreams. How big are they? Can you accomplish them on your own? Have you prayed
about them? Are they from God? How do you know? If you haven’t written your
dreams on paper, take a few minutes and prayerfully write them down.
you still believe in your dreams? Why or why not?

7 Steps to Fulfill Your Dream

Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gifts makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Especially for us writers. It’s our prayer that our gifts be used for something great, that the publishing industry will make room for us, bring us to awesome things and there is nothing wrong with those dreams.
The Bible is telling us that it can happen and that it’s okay to dream, to want amazing things. Joseph had a great dream, a God-given dream; it included being powerful, and his brothers bowing at his feet. His gifts made room for him and brought him before great men.
BUT the key to verse 16 lies in the verses before it. It isn’t placed randomly, although sometimes it feels like a chapter in Proverbs is just a string of random sayings tossed together to make it up, but it’s not. Every word, every sentence is strategically placed.
So let’s look at some of verses before it. I want to hit on 7 things.
There are 7 things that we have to be molded into, before we hit verse 16. 
Remember, we’re talking about righteous people, not Hollywood! We want peace when we make it to the place Joseph made it to. And we’re not talking perfection, we’re talking about consistent living. Chances are, we’re gonna slip up from time to time. We are but dust.
The Lord is all about preparing His people to house His fame.

Verse 8: “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
The KJV says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” The Hebrew word for “wounds” isn’t hurt. I thought it would be because we all know gossip hurts, but it isn’t. 
The word is “laham” and it means “to gulp, swallow greedily” Oh my!
We gulp gossip down, swallow it greedily, and yet the word is wounds. Ironic, who would ever want to gulp down pain? Yet we do.

1. We cannot be talebearers, and we cannot gulp it down when gossip is presented on shiny plates and served fresh.
Some people have no problems with gossiping or shutting it down, but for others, it’s tough. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been on both ends at one time or another in our adult life.

Verse 9. “He who is slothful in his work, is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”

The word in Hebrew for “slothful” “raphah” and it means “to relax, be disheartened, let drop, withdraw, abandon, forsake.”
The KJV says, “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”
The word for “great” is noun of relationship used to characterize “master of dreams”

2.You cannot let your dreams and your work decay.  Don’t be disheartened or withdraw. Write, write, work! Don’t stop. Don’t give it up, don’t abandon it!

Verse 10-11: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own esteem.

You must know where your safety lies. 
You cannot run to wealth or any high wall you build as a show-piece, even if it’s just your built up imagination that you can handle things on your own. 

3.When it’s time to run, know Who you are running to.

Verse: 12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
It’s easy to slip into a prideful state. Sometimes, we’re unaware. It takes constant prayer and allowing God to search your heart daily to walk with humility, and expect obstacles to come that will knock you down a peg or two.
Even Paul had a thorn in his side he wished removed, but it kept him humble. Some people are sick with talent. Some of them are prideful and generally fall miserably. A tragedy. And some remember to have their hearts searched!

4. Walk in humility, pride will get you nowhere fast.

Verse: 13: “He who answers a matter before he hears it; It is folly and shame to him.”
The Hebrew word for “hears” is “shama” and it means, “to listen, to obey, to perceive, to understand”

The word “matter” is “dabar” in Hebrew and it does mean, “speech, word, speaking” but it also can mean, “business or occupation”

5.Listen and obey God before jumping in with an answer concerning your words, answers, and business affairs.

God gives you the words to say and they may not always be “yes” even if it sounds good. This can also save you time and energy on some unnecessary steps, had you took time to really understand and then obey.

Verse 14: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit”
Even today, doctors who claim no faith, believe that a positive attitude can go a long way with sick patients, but those who give up, generally die sooner. But I don’t want to talk about physical sickness.
I want to talk about this verse: “Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.  
How many of you are still waiting on your dream to come to pass? It can feel sickening, that hope put on hold, can’t it? But don’t let your spirit be troubled!
The Hebrew word for “spirit” is also “mind” 

6. Don’t let the thoughts of never making it overcrowd what you know in your heart to be true, even when your heart feels sick over deferred hope! 

Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint…” God does not deceive or disappoint. (Habakkuk 2:3) He is right on time, and His words do not return void! (Isaiah 55:11)

Verse 15: “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

7. Be smart. Always study. Always learn.
That brings us to our main verse. Righteous one, if you want to have room made for you and be brought before great men, there is much preparation to be done.
Joseph spent years learning these things. He started out as a arrogant, foolish, brat. Spouting off when he shouldn’t, thinking of himself above his brothers. Remember his story. He learned how to be all of the above things through trials. And guess what?
He ruled Egypt. And his dreams, oh they did come true.
Care to share? Which step are you working through at the moment? 
I’m hosting at Living by Grace today! Come on by and let’s talk. I’d post my LBG picture but it must be on my other computer. Boo!