Sunday, October 17, 2010

I guess it was a buyers' market?

Through the Bible in 90 Days: Day 56

Read: Jeremiah 23:9-33:22

Verse that stood out: Once more fields will be bought in this land of which you say, 'It is a desolate waste' - Jeremiah 32:43

Many Christians know Jeremiah 29:11 by heart, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Far fewer know the context. The city of Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians. It was about to fall (despite all the empty promises of false prophets). Jeremiah, having a true word from the Lord had said as much. This great promise of a future found in verse eleven is what Jeremiah assures will happen after seventy years in exile. Far from being a verse to comfort us with the thought of quickly turning fortunes, this is a verse that encourages us to be faithful for the long haul. God's people are to be a people of hope in the midst of tragedy, not because we expect things to change tomorrow, but because we trust that God is ultimately in control.

Jeremiah proves he believes what he preaches by buying a field from a cousin moments before Jerusalem falls. This is perhaps the worst real estate deal in history, certainly in the Bible. Property values are plummeting. Tomorrow they'll be worth even less. But one this purchase was, nonetheless, a bold statement of hope. Jeremiah was saying to all who were watching, "I know things are about to get really, really, bad, but they will be good again. Just you watch. I'm carrying this deed with me to Babylon, sometime, it will be valuable again."

We can learn from Jeremiah. We, too, believe, that no matter how bad things get, nor for how long they stay that way, God has good things in store for those who trust in his name. But what are we doing to put feet to our beliefs? What are we investing in? In the things of Babylon or in the things of God's kingdom? If we truly believe, we'll be buying land in the kingdom come.

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