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AM Bible Study Archives
"A Deed and a Promise"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
March 30, 2005
Chapters 32 and 33 contain prophecies given to Jeremiah while in prison.
The background for these prophetic words seems to be found in chapter 37.
(See especially 37:4. As you've probably noticed, many of the events
described in the book of Jeremiah is not in chronological order.)
After King Zedekiah assumed the throne, the armies of Egypt became a threat
to the Babylonians; so they temporarily departed from their siege on
Jerusalem. It was at that time that a word from the Lord came to Jeremiah
to Zedekiah. God said that Egypt would return to its land, and the
Chaldeans would come back to destroy Jerusalem; and the king was not to
deceive himself into thinking that it wouldn't happen (37:7-10). As soon as
the armies of Babylon left off the siege, Jeremiah was arrested while trying
to leave Jerusalem to claim a piece of land that was his. The accusation
was that he was defecting to the Babylonians.
While in prison, a relative of Jeremiah's comes to him with business
regarding property rights. God uses this as an opportunity to give the
assurance of hope to the people of Israel of the hope He has in store for
them. A key to this passage is the twice-repeated affirmation that
nothing - no matter how impossible in human terms - is ever too hard for God
(vv. 17, 27).
I. THE CIRCUMSTANCES BEHIND THE PROPHECY (vv. 1-5).
A. It was at a time near the end - just before Babylon would finally come and
destroy the city. The siege had apparently been resumed while Jeremiah was
still in prison (vv. 1-2).
B. The reason for Jeremiah's imprisonment was because of his word to
Zedekiah from the Lord (vv. 3-5). Zedekiah refused to believe it - although
it happened exactly as God promised (2 Kings 25:1-17).
II. THE PROPHECY ILLUSTRATED THROUGH BUYING A FIELD (vv. 6-15).
A. Jeremiah's relative (the word used can either mean uncle or cousin)
Hanamel came to him, calling upon him to claim his property rights over a
piece of land in Benjamin. This was in keeping with the command of God
regarding the redemption of property, as spelled out in Leviticus 25:23-34).
It was made clear to Jeremiah that this was of God (vv. 6-8).
B. Jeremiah went through the entire legal process of buying the field; and
he told his assistant to be sure to place the deed in an earthen vessel, so
that it would be kept for a long time (vv. 9-14).
C. This was to illustrate a word from God - that the land would be restored
and purchases again made (v. 15).
III. THE PROPHET'S CONFUSION ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATION (vv. 16-25).
A. Jeremiah worships God in this; affirming God's goodness to the people
B. But he is confused as to why God would promise Israel's destruction by
the Babylonians, but then call him to buy land (vv. 23-25).
IV. THE MESSAGE OF THE ILLUSTRATION EXPLAINED (vv. 26-44).
A. God answers that everything that Jeremiah says is true (vv. 26-35).
B. But God answers that He still has a future and glorious hope for Israel.
This is affirmed in the fact that many will one day do just as Jeremiah has
done (vv. 36-44).
* * * * * * * * * *
Is there anything too hard for God? When He promises to do something, He
does it. When He places His love on someone, that love is forever! His
promises are promises we can count on!