Tuesday, March 27, 2012

buy or sell?

Ever dream of buying some land? Having your own piece of real estate? Even in troubled times?

2500 years ago in the land of Judah, the economy was collapsing, property values were plummeting, an epidemic was sweeping the city of Jerusalem - and the Babylonians led by king Nebuchadnezzar were on the warpath to Israel.

That's when Jeremiah the prophet, imprisoned inside the city, receives a word from the Lord, “Buy the field”.

What's that? Come again, Lord?

Jerusalem is collapsing amidst political, spiritual, and economic woes. Jeremiah and all of Jerusalem are about to go down big time. Yet the Lord tells Jeremiah, “Buy the field”.  Not sell the farm. Buy the field!

The field belonged to the prophet’s cousin Hanamel, and it was located in his hometown, Anathoth, just three miles north of Jerusalem. I'm sure it was a nice field, and it was close to home. But any investment in Judah’s future seems pretty hopeless at this point. Why in the world would someone make this kind of investment in such turbulent economic times?

Jeremiah answers that for us ...

"Behold the Days are coming declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah... I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people. I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

“The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which He will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness’.

“This is what the Lord says, ... ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah knows that a King is coming who will declare him righteous and holy and forgiven.
This gives him hope for the future because his God is the Creator of the ends of the earth.
His God is the Redeemer of Israel. So Jeremiah buys the field.

A field of dreams, indeed.

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