The restoration business
The siege is on. The king of Babylon is besieging Jerusalem. And King Zedekiah is holding Jeremiah under guard in the royal palace of Judah. It isn’t looking good for Jeremiah at all.
Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, “Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.” Jeremiah 32:11
And so, random as it may seem, he does. Which may have seemed ridiculous given that he believed he was about to be carted off into exile. He gave the deeds to Baruch to put in a clay jar and look after him for as long as it took. This was a statement of intent. I will be coming back. The people will return to Jerusalem. We will settle here again. I will take possession of my field. I believe everything the Lord has ever revealed to me.
And then he prays –
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 32:17
He has complete trust in God’s love and might and purposes. He thinks back to all that God has done for His people. He reflects on what God is about to allow to happen. He sees the significance in being instructed to buy a field. The hope that it engenders.
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 32:25
I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:26
What a wonderful, wonderful verse! There is plenty that feels too hard for me. Stuff within me I don’t believe I can ever change. Stuff in my relationships that I am convinced will defeat me. Stuff in the everyday that I know I’m not strong enough to deal with.
On my own. I know I can’t do any of this on my own.
But God is God. He created the whole world. And He has promised to always be with me. Is there anything out there that is too hard for him?
No! Definitely not.
Whatever is happening right now and whatever the people have to go through, God has a basket full of promises for them.
I will gather them in
I will bring them back to this place
They will be my people
I will be their God
I will give them singleness of heart and action
They will always fear me
All will then go well for them and for their children after them
I will make an everlasting covenant with them
I will never stop doing good to them
I will inspire them to fear me
They will never turn away from me
I will rejoice in doing them good
I will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.
I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.
Once more fields will be bought in this land Jeremiah 32:37-43
You see, it all comes back to the field. The field may have seemed like a wacky idea, but it was a statement. I believe we will return and I believe it so much I’m willing to invest in a field that will be there waiting for me on my return. That is faith and hope in action.
In Jeremiah 33, while Jeremiah is still imprisoned, God reveals to him another promise of restoration. He’s in the worst situation imaginable but God is filling him with hope and renewing his strength by showing him that things won’t always be this way. However bad it gets, God has a beautiful plan of restoration.
I will bring health and healing
I will heal my people
I will let them enjoy abundant peace and security
I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity
I will rebuild them as they were before
I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me
I will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me.
This city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honour before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it
The nations will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it. Jeremiah 33:6-9
This is glorious. Such wonderful reassurances in the midst of despair.
However bad it is, nothing is too hard for God. God is in the restoration business. He is the very best.
I don’t need to spell it out, do I? I’m hoping that as you’re reading this, the promises of hope are speaking directly into your despairing places.
‘Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
for the Lord is good;
his love endures for ever.’ Jeremiah 33:11
God will not break His promises. Not ever. It’s not in his nature. Breaking His promise to His people would be like breaking His promise to the day and the night, so that they no longer come at the appointed time. He says that in verse 20.
God breaking His promises is not an option. We can have total confidence in Him. He is the master of restoration.