Ever notice that sometimes obeying God doesn’t make sense?
I just finished taking a class on the Old Testament prophets and the Bible passage that I focused on for my final paper is found in Jeremiah 32. God instructs the prophet Jeremiah to buy a field from his cousin in a town that is already being occupied by the Babylonians.
For 40 years Jeremiah had warned the people in Judah that destruction was coming, but they refused to repent and continued worshipping idols. Poor Jeremiah was beaten, isolated, and imprisoned.
But now the prophecies are coming true. Judah is under attack and the people are about to be taken into captivity. In the middle of all this, while Jeremiah is still imprisioned, God tells him to buy the field and to have it witnessed.
In the natural, that looks like one of the worst investments ever, right?
Jeremiah must have found this request absurd to say the least. Here’s what he said, “See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see. And though the city will be given into the hands of the Babylonians, you, Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’” (Jeremiah 32:24-25)
Jeremiah doesn’t understand why God is asking him to do this.
Isn’t that what happens in our lives too?
Sometimes God asks us to do things that seem a bit outrageous or uncomfortable. We know it’s from God, but we’re not sure why He’s asking us to do it. It doesn’t even have to be something extreme. He could ask you to reach out to a certain person, volunteer to serve in a particular area or to bless one of your enemies in some way.
What do you do in those moments? Do you wrestle with God for days or weeks and try to convince yourself you must have misheard God or misunderstood Him?
Or do you obey?
Jeremiah chose to obey. Then he prayed and praised God for being the maker of heaven and earth and for all the miraculous signs and wonders He performed as He brought the Israelites out of Egypt. He declared that nothing is too impossible for God and all the way at the end of his prayer he basically questioned why God asked him to buy the property.
God’s response to Jeremiah is classic and it applies to us today as well, “… I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Yes, God is Sovereign and He has a plan and His plans will come to pass no matter what.
God goes on to say that judgment was coming, but after 70 years He would restore His people to their land and that’s exactly what He did.
Jeremiah buying the field was a step of faith and a sign that God would keep His promise.
I don’t know what God is asking you to do, but I want to remind you that when God speaks, He means what He says.
Even if your situation looks hopeless, or God asks you to do something that you don’t understand (like buy a field in a city that is about to be destroyed) you and I need to trust God. He knows what He is doing and He knows what’s best for us!
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