“See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine and plague, the city will be handed over to the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see. And though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, you, O Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’ Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.”
Jeremiah 32:24-27; 42b, NIV
1st Sunday-“Misery Becomes Prosperity!”
There was no prophet in the scriptures who was unaffected by the social upheaval and calamities of their day. Prophets did not live in a bubble of comfort, and it remains the same for all who truly give themselves completely to the great call of God. Phillips Brooks the great preacher of Trinity Episcopal Church in Boston, said every preacher’s words are sifted through the peculiar challenges confronting their lives. Preaching, said Brooks, “is sifted through personality.” Jeremiah is no exception. He was the prophet who most expressed the emotional pain and pathos he encountered. “The weeping prophet,” was his moniker. There was probably no other prophet more willing to obey God’s command, even when what he was expected to do seemed inconceivable. The siege of Jerusalem by the mighty army of Babylon affected Jeremiah directly. The prophet was held in a prison in the compound of King Zedekiah, who detested Jeremiah for warning the nation of its imminent destruction. The invasion would end both the king’s reign and his life! Uncertainty, famine, destruction, and plague had griped Jerusalem, and many would soon become exiles in Babylon. In the midst of this, God told Jeremiah to purchase property in his hometown. The property was then worthless, but a symbol of God’s future restoration!