Promises in darkness

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.10.16 AMThe days of Jeremiah were dark days, but God (as he always does) gives hope when there is no visible possibility of hope.
After one of the most risky land deals ever made (from our perspective), God provides such a hope to his people. I hope that comes while Babylonian armies are carrying out their siege on Jerusalem. Jeremiah is locked up. Yet God speaks hope.
The land deal. Jeremiah buys a plot of land not in a far away country since God is hammering Jerusalem with Babylonian military might….but Jeremiah buys a field from his cousin. A field, a land, a town, a people, are about to be totally overrun by a foreign nation.
The significance of the land deal. God intended this to happen. In fact, he uses this land purchase as a teaching tool for his people.
Buy now for I am going to bring you back. Invest now, because there will be returns!
Faith in God — believing what he says is true and acting on it. Jeremiah knew God, heard God, saw the pending doom, and acting on what he knew of God and heard from God.
“Nothing is too hard for you, you show unfailing love to a thousand generations.” Jeremiah 32:17
Interesting what Jeremiah in his prayer (16-25) does not ask for. Protection. To turn Babylon back on their heels. Safety. Comfort. Deliverance from the soon to be over turning of Jerusalem.
Jeremiah trusts in God being sovereign. Jeremiah acknowledges that God knows best, does the best, and over and over, does great and miraculous things to make himself known.
Jeremiah does not attempt to change God’s mind, twist his arm, or convince him of a better plan.
Jeremiah submits to God’s perfect wisdom. Especially in the midst of the sins of God’s people…Jeremiah does not brush off their mistreatment of God, he knows that they are getting exactly what they deserve (32:19).
Even though Jeremiah does not come asking God to “make everything better” and stave of this army of the enemies, he buys land. What does he know that other investors don’t know? Is there a hint of “insider trading”?
God’s promise in 36-44 is one of hope, where there is no hope.
“I will certainly bring my people back.”
 
“They will be my people and I will be their God.”
 
“I will give them one heart and one purpose: to worship me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants.”
 
“And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them.”
 
“I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me.”
 
“I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.”
Jesus, this promise comes through you! God, your mercy and grace astounds – it always goes so beyond what we can think or imagine. You don’t just bring us back to a war torn land, leaving us to pick up the debris and rebuild the city….you implant a new heart within us. The love that I have for you, the heart that I have to worship you, it comes from you, through your Son!
 
Lord, these words speak to clearly to me on this hard journey that you are leading us on. Your words pick me up, encourage me, give me renewed hope. Your words stir in me a love for you, an awe of you, and an enduring spirit to follow you wherever you lead.
 
Lead on, because you tell me that you, even in the midst of trial and the unknown, that you make (made) an everlasting covenant with me. Your love for me will not be shaken or broken.
 
You promise to never stop doing good for me! Wow! No one else can make promises like that to me! Help me though Lord, because you know my heart is not always aligned to appreciating your “good” — help me to yield to you and accept everything from your hand, knowing that your good purpose is present.
 
Thank you for the heart of worship that you are giving me. According to this passage in Jeremiah, one purpose of that new heart is so that I will never leave you. Not even if Babylon comes. Not even if Assyria destroys. Not even if enemy lines push me back. The heart you give me will endure. You will see to it. Perseverance comes from you. Endurance comes from you. Me not turning away from you when things get hard, that also comes from you! Oh, how I need your persevering work in my life, and oh, how I am thankful for that work which you are performing in me!!
 
And Lord, to read this morning that your transforming work in my heart brings you joy — I don’t even have words. I sit in silence….trying to grasp that you are faithfully and wholeheartedly working for my good and that brings you delight, joy.
 
Selah.
 
“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign Lord rescues us from death.” Psalm 68:19-20

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