The Long View

In Jeremiah 32, the Lord instructed the prophet Jeremiah to buy a field at a fair price. But how could this be! Jeremiah had also been told of the destruction that was to come to Jerusalem, and how God's people would be given into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon. What, then, is the purpose? Jeremiah prays for clarification: I don't see it, God, what's the logic here? 

It's a matter of trust. God's Word is always true; and what he says did come to pass. The exile in Babylon would last 70 years, a lifetime. What would that look like for us if we were told, your prosperity will end, your control will end, and you will given into the care of those who are enemies of God. That is chaos! 

Our feathers become ruffled when the slightest of antagonisms come our way. We want to be culture shapers, and hate when are not. We want to be respected, and hate when we are not. We are not fans of taking the long view. 

Violence is real and ever present, hatred still exists among people from every corner of the globe. And in our nation there is little hope in these political figures to be able to make changes for good. There is so much that is just messy. And we are to pursue righteousness, justice, and truth in these times (Micah 6:8; Jeremiah 29); they are not lost as a phantom in the wind, but they concern people made in God's image and a world that he created in splendor! Love it, care for it, love your neighbor, and when they reject you, do not despair! They rejected our Lord, do you recall? 

We, like Jeremiah, can pray for understanding, and yet may be kept in the dark as to what's going on. We are called to faithfulness, despite external circumstances: in fact, dying to self and our comforts is as prevalent a New Testament theme as anything else. And it isn't just, see through the rainy day and making something good of it: it's rather, always take the long view. God is doing something, and is in control. Our need to explain it may be assuming prophetic knowledge that isn't ours, while our need to smooth it over may reflect a need for comfort that isn't ours either. Instead, o believer, rise from the dead. And know that's God promises are never null and void, but that you too, have been redeemed, and he is gathering his people to live in that heavenly city whose king is the Lord forever. 

Jeremiah went and bought that field, put the deed in an earthenware vessel, and buried it. He would never see its fruits, and didn't need to, but he knew that someone would, by the absolute grace of God. For God had promised this concerning his people sent into exile: 

"I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and soul." Jeremiah 32:37-41