Would you purchase property in a war zone? Yet, that’s exactly what the prophet Jeremiah did. What seemed like a dumb move on the part of the supposedly wise prophet was actually a gesture of great faith. Jeremiah prophesied the Babylonians would take the Israelites captive no matter what (Jeremiah 32:3-5) because of their sin (vv. 30-35).
These words upset Zedekiah king of Judah so much he threw Jeremiah in prison (v. 3). Don’t shoot the messenger! I’ve spoken God’s Word to people before and they have laughed in my face and even called me a liar.
People will try their hardest to silence those who speak God’s Word, but nothing can stop the promises of God! 2 Timothy 2:9 says God’s Word cannot be chained! Jeremiah bought family land from his cousin Hanamel (v. 8) who was most likely desperate to get rid of the property and grab some quick cash in the wake of being overtaken by Babylonian invaders.
Not only did Jeremiah buy land in a war zone that could have been (and would be) taken by the enemy at any time, he bought it while he was in prison! He bought land he couldn’t even live on or visit! Why would he do such a crazy thing? Because God told him to, that’s why.
Because of God’s command and in front of many witnesses, Jeremiah had the sealed deed placed in jars of clay so they would be preserved for a long time (v. 13). I’m sure all those who witnessed this transaction were thinking how futile these actions were. But Jeremiah had faith. He didn’t just believe internally that God could do the impossible.
He also didn’t just say, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” Jeremiah showed it by trusting the Lord through the purchase of some seemingly bad real estate. It showed Jeremiah knew the captivity wouldn’t last forever because God said it wouldn’t (vv. 36-44). That’s real faith.
Real faith makes real steps that can sometimes seem illogical and downright dumb. In the middle of all of this, Jeremiah made sure he gave credit to the One who was more powerful than any human army, the Lord Almighty. The Lord Almighty promised that although Israel would be captured (the 70 year Babylonian Exile), by saying, “Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land’ (Jeremiah 32:15, also v. 43-44).
Doing what God’s Word says may, in the eyes of some, seem foolish. It was highly unlikely Jeremiah would live another 70 years to enjoy this land. Some probably laughed at Jeremiah’s bad real estate investment.
It seems Jeremiah even had some doubt. After all, the Babylonians were attacking the city from the outside and disease was attacking it from the inside — and he was in prison (vv. 24-25)! Just because you have a doubt doesn’t mean you don’t have faith.
When in doubt, pray and trust God’s Word. And that’s exactly what Jeremiah did (vv. 17-25). You see a person of faith reminds themselves through prayer all God has done before — how He met every need and kept every promise.
God reaffirmed Jeremiah’s faith statement of “nothing is too hard for God” (v. 17) by saying it back to him (v. 27). When you doubt, speak God’s Word because, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). What is God asking you to do to show your faith? It may seem foolish in everyone else’s eyes and maybe somewhat in your own, but remember to trust the Sovereign Lord — nothing is too hard for Him!
Stephen Harrison is the lead pastor of Family Church at White Hall.
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