The Most Ridiculous Real Estate Transaction in History
Exchanging Difficulties for Impossibilities (Part Two)
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?” (Jeremiah 32: 27)
Like most prophets of his day, Jeremiah was often the bearer of bad news. He continued to warn the king and God’s people of the coming judgment for their ongoing disobedience and sin. Jeremiah prophesied that Judah, the southern kingdom, would soon go the way of the Northern Kingdom—be completely overrun and captured by their enemies (see vs 28-36) . The king’s officials were fed up. Jeremiah was thrown into a cistern (water reservoir) that contained mud not water. They later thought better of that and moved him to a guard-house.
Then a strange thing happened. Still in jail, Jeremiah’s nephew came and asked him to buy a piece of land on which he had first right of refusal to keep it in the family. What a ridiculous request! Jeremiah had prophesied they were about to be overrun and captured. Why did he go ahead with the deal? Jeremiah got the money together and went to great pains to seal the deal legally and preserve it for posterity. (vs 9-14) Unlike his fellow Israelites, Jeremiah was not only a faithful servant of the LORD, but he believed God even when His words sounded completely ridiculous:
“For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.”’ (v. 15)
God told Jeremiah that Judah would endure a 70-year captivity. (Jeremiah 25: 11) But at the end of that time, God put it in the heart of another pagan king to allow some Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the ruins of their beloved City of David that had been completely destroyed.
Three lessons we should learn from this story.
- God demands our obedience no matter what our circumstances or where we are in life. Jeremiah was obedience to his prophetic calling even though he ended up in being thrown in a cistern and put in jail. God gave him favor with his captors.
- God keeps His promises and redeems His people no matter what. The nation of Israel and the two kingdoms into which it split, were constantly disobeying and defying God. Yet despite all of that, we find Him always making ways to redeem them to Himself because of His love and the covenant He made with Abraham.
- Despite his steadfast faithfulness, even Jeremiah questioned God about the apparent foolishness of buying property amid total destruction and defeat. God answered with the question we must ask ourselves during personal times of crisis and apparent defeat,
“Is anything too difficult for Me?”
We know the answer to that question. But it takes faith in the One Who made that promise to cling to the Truth of it when all we see around us are walls crumbling, darkness falling, and strong enemies at the gates.