‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Take these deeds, this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware jar, that they may last a long time.” ‘For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Houses and fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.” ’
Jeremiah 32: 14-15 (NASB)
For Israel, the promises of God are inextricably connected to the land. The land promised to Abraham as an inheritance and a place for the people of God. In Jeremiah the people are about to suffer the greatest punishment possible – being removed from the land. Because of the great sin of Israel in following after other gods they were to be visited with a physical manifestation of separation from the promises of God. They would be humiliated and carried off into exile and the land would be laid waste. But even in the midst of their worst nightmare God is still a God of hope and promise. Even though they deserve everything they are getting for their adultery against God, He still provides a promise of hope. “Houses and fields and vineyards will be bought in this land.” God would bring them back. To reinforce this promise He had Jeremiah buy land right before the fall of Jerusalem. Jeremiah who had preached that Judah was doomed, also offered hope that although Israel had broken their covenant with God, God could not break His covenant with Abraham. After all God swore by Himself to do it.
There are so many amazing things in this passage. I think that there is great application here. Even though the church is not Israel, we can still draw great confidence from these passages which remind us that God is faithful in spite of our sin. Even in our worst of sins and in the ugliness of our hearts, God is bigger. In our biggest failure and in the areas in our life left desolate and ruined, God says “Houses and fields, and vineyards will again be bought and sold in this land.” God will take what is desecrated, and defiled, and laid waste, and He will bring it back to life. Over and over again we see in the Bible the great work of our God, taking what was dead and from that death bringing new and greater life. What a great God we serve.
Father thank you that you love to take what is dead and reclaim it to bring abundant life. Everywhere we look we can see reminders of your great work. From filthy waste you cause beautiful and life-giving plants to grow. From ruined nations entrenched in dead religiosity you bring forth the One who would bring life for all. From ruined lives you restore years that locusts have eaten. We are all your reclamation projects Lord and it is truly awesome to behold your work in your people. Your work us beyond comprehension and Your greatness beyond imagination.