Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Piece of Land

When Jeremiah bought the field at Anathoth, it was a strange purchase.  Even though the prophet bought the land from his uncle at the Lord's bidding, it was still a strange transaction.  What made it strange was the fact that the Lord had also told the prophet that the city of Jerusalem and the land of Judah was about to be given to the Babylonians who were laying siege to the holy city.  The future was not just about the defeat of a  nation, but about its disappearance.  What was imminent for the Hebrews was destruction and exile.  It was not exactly a great time for buying  a piece of land. 

As is often the case in Biblical stories, more was happening than meets the eye.  When Jeremiah bought the land, he was buying for a future that the people could not envision.  God's judgment against them was sure, but the day of judgment would pass and they would eventually come to that time when once again land would be bought and sold, planted and harvested.  When the prophet bought the land it was God's sign that what was lost would be restored.  It was God's way of declaring that His people would return to the land of promise. "I will bring them back to this place, and I will settle them in safety."  (Jeremiah 32:37)  Anathoth was a visible sign that God was going to restore what had been taken away.

Given the circumstances, what God told Jeremiah to do was beyond the borders of reasonable behavior.  Beyond the borders of what we deem to be reasonable behavior is a place we do not want to go, however, God sees beyond the borders of reasonable behavior to a place where His purposes can be worked out in our life.  Going there with Him is the challenge of faith and trust.  When our reason says, "It is not the right time," it may be exactly the time when He seeks to lead us into a new territory of faith.  We will never know until we dare to say "yes" even though our reason is screaming, "no."

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