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Bible Pathways 08/23/2002

August 23

Read Jeremiah 32 -- 33

In Today's Reading:

Jeremiah's imprisonment; Jeremiah buys a field at Anathoth; glorious return promised to the captives; Christ, the Branch of Righteousness, promised.

Verses for Today:

Then the King of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison. . . . Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for Me? . . . Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (nor understand) (32:2,27; 33:3)

Jeremiah prophesied numerous times that the ungodliness of the Israelites would result in the destruction of their nation by the Babylonian Empire. He continued to proclaim that the people would be driven from their country and that they all would be made prisoners. Yet, with such a gloomy prospect of circumstances, when the nation was about to be destroyed, the Lord said to Jeremiah: Buy . . . the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:25). Without hesitation, Jeremiah paid for the land, took receipts, registered the purchase, and then handed over the documents in the presence of many witnesses (32:9-12).

This business transaction would have seemed inconsistent to those who had heard Jeremiah's repeated warnings of approaching captivity. However, Jeremiah had also publicly proclaimed that the people would be restored to the land, and this purchase of land was evidence of his faith that God was in control of Israel's destiny.

Although Jeremiah could not see how God would fulfill His prophecy, Jeremiah's faith was in the unfailing Word of God. Jeremiah then turned his thoughts to the perplexing fact that the judgment of God was about to come upon the nation for its wickedness. How, in the face of all this, would God's promise of restoration be fulfilled after 70 years (32:36-44)?

Jeremiah was a godly prophet, used to reveal God's will to mankind. Yet he could not understand all of the ways of God, and neither can we. Furthermore, God has said: My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways (Isaiah 55:8). God gave Jeremiah a fresh assurance concerning the future by saying: Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in My . . . great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely (Jeremiah 32:37). How wonderful to know that, in the midst of the most difficult circumstances, we can rest assured that God is merciful and will bring good out of evil for them that love God (Romans 8:28). Where there is godly living and obedience to His Word, His invitation is: Call [to] Me, and I will answer (Jeremiah 33:3).

God reveals Himself and His will to all who are living in obedience to His Word; so our faith in the Word of God can be measured by the influence it has upon our conduct. We should ask ourselves: "Does my faith affect my everyday conduct by what is taught in the Bible or is it just traditional "religion"? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2:26).

Christ Portrayed:

By Jeremiah who acted as a kinsman-redeemer by purchasing the land of his cousin Hanameel even though he was in prison (Jeremiah 32:6-14; see also Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 2:20; 3:12-13). Jesus is our Kinsman-Redeemer who purchased our freedom from sin, hell, and the grave with His own blood on Calvary (1 Corinthians 6:20; Hebrews 13:12).

Word Study:

32:4 mouth to mouth = face to face; 32:10 evidence = deed; 32:44 subscribe evidences = sign deeds.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Slovakia (5 million) central Europe · Major languages: Slovak and Hungarian · Religious freedom · 60% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 4% Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Give thanks to the Lord for all things (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Optional Reading: 1 John 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 8:4

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