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?