Scripture: Jeremiah 32:1-15
Key verse: (15) For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.
Reflection: Jeremiah was a social critic and a spiritual guide who challenged God’s people to faithfulness in an anxious time. Remember that God had given the chosen Hebrew people a promised land and they had formed a nation with Jerusalem as their capital. They built a temple in Jerusalem that was the spiritual center of their faith. The land, the nation, and the temple all symbolized God’s presence with the people and assured them of God’s care for them.
Jeremiah preached around the time when Babylon conquered Jerusalem, reducing much of the city to rubble. Jeremiah wasn’t a popular prophet because he challenged the people for their lack of trust in God. In today’s passage, Jeremiah is in prison when he learns that his cousin Hanamel needs to sell land and is going to offer it to Jeremiah for purchase. This was called “redemption” when a relative bought back the land during a time of financial distress and kept the land in the family.
Buying land, when you know that Babylon is about to conquer your nation, doesn’t seem very smart. It’s like buying land right before it’s flooded by the construction of a new dam. It’s not a sound business decision. But Jeremiah bought the land as an act of faith. His purchase became a sign of his trust that God would one day restore the nation and return the land to the people. Jeremiah was willing to invest his money in an act of faith. A foolish real estate transaction became a sign of God’s future for the people.
As we begin this week, how will we live out our faith? How will we invest ourselves (yes, including our money!) in ways that reveal our trust in God? How will we invest our time and our energy this week? Maybe we are called to do something that looks foolish because we believe in a powerful God and a future of hope.
Prayer: O God, give me wisdom and courage today so that, as I face every decision, I will trust in you. Reveal opportunities to me when I can invest in your kingdom and in your promises for the future. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].