Scripture reading – Jeremiah 32


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Our study of the Book of Jeremiah brings us to “the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar” (Jeremiah 32:1). From history we know that the year was 587 B.C. In 586 B.C., Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by fire. Those who survived the siege were led away to Babylon captive.

Yet, despite Judah’s sins, Jeremiah assured the people that the LORD would not forget them (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Nevertheless, they were told to accept the consequences of their sins and the seventy years of captivity in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:10).


Jeremiah 32


The Prisoner (Jeremiah 32:1-5)

Babylon was encamped outside the gates of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:2), but where was Jeremiah? We read that “Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house” (Jeremiah 32:2b). King Zedekiah, rather than heeding the prophet’s warnings, “shut [Jeremiah] up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house” (Jeremiah 32:3). In essence, God’s prophet was literally and physically shut up! 

Having heard Jeremiah’s prophecies, the king asked, “Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it?” (Jeremiah 32:3) Rather than falling on his face and repenting of his sins, the king rejected the words of the LORD. Jeremiah prophesied Jerusalem would fall, and Zedekiah would be Nebuchadnezzar’s prisoner (Jeremiah 32:4-5).

The Patron - Jeremiah buys a field

The Patron (Jeremiah 32:6-15)

With Jerusalem under siege and the rest of Judah fallen, the LORD told Jeremiah to purchase a field from a cousin in Anathoth, his home village (Jeremiah 32:6-12).

Why buy land at such a time? Procuring a field at such a time seemed foolish. Nevertheless, Jeremiah obeyed, and, in doing so, he expressed his faith in the LORD’s promise that Israel would return after the captivity. Purchasing the land with witnesses, the record of the deed was sealed and stored “in an earthen vessel” (Jeremiah 32:14). Jeremiah’s actions proved his confidence that Israel would be restored as the LORD promised (Jeremiah 32:15).


The Prayer (Jeremiah 32:16-25)

After he purchased the field, Jeremiah prayed and worshipped the LORD (Jeremiah 32:16). He acknowledged the LORD as Creator and the sovereign of heaven and earth. He declared, “There is nothing too hard for thee” (Jeremiah 32:17). He remembered that the LORD was both merciful and just, for He had not only shown “lovingkindness” but also rewarded His people according to their iniquity (Jeremiah 32:18).

Though living in the king’s prison, Jeremiah rejoiced in “the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts…Great in counsel and mighty in work” (Jeremiah 32:18-19). He was reminded that the LORD is a righteous judge. His “eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 32:19).

Jeremiah reminded the people how the LORD redeemed Israel and brought them out of Egypt. He gave Israel the land He promised Abraham and his sons would be their inheritance (Genesis 13:14-15), “a land flowing with milk and honey” (Jeremiah 32:22; Exodus 3:8). The LORD gave Israel all He promised, but the people disobeyed His law and failed to walk according to His commandments (Jeremiah 32:23).

Having broken their covenant with the LORD, the LORD turned away His blessing and protection from Israel and brought forth the Chaldeans (Babylon) as He promised (Jeremiah 32:24).

The Prophesy (Jeremiah 32:26-35)

The Prophesy (Jeremiah 32:26-35)

The LORD rehearsed with Jeremiah the sorrow that would fall upon Israel and Judah because of the people’s sins (Jeremiah 32:26-44). Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Jerusalem by fire, and the people would suffer disease and famine (Jeremiah 32:26-29).

Should anyone question why Judah was left desolate, Jeremiah was reminded that the sins and wickedness of the people provoked the LORD’s wrath (Jeremiah 32:30-35). All the inhabitants of Jerusalem were backslidden and refused to heed the words of the LORD (Jeremiah 32:33). They defiled the Temple with their idols. They sacrificed their sons and daughters to Molech (Jeremiah 32:34-35).


Closing thoughts –

There was no hope for Jerusalem, for the LORD declared He had determined to deliver the city and its people to Babylon (Jeremiah 32:36). Despite the wickedness of the nation, the LORD promised He would not forget nor forsake His people (Jeremiah 32:37-44). He assured them the day would come when He would gather His people “out of all countries…[and] bring them again” to Jerusalem and “cause them to dwell safely” (Jeremiah 32:37).

How would Judah and Israel find their way back to the LORD? The answer was found in Jeremiah 31:21, where we read, “Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: Set thine heart toward the highway, Even the way which thou wentest” (Jeremiah 31:21).

“Waymarks” and “high heaps” marked the way through the wilderness and back to the LORD. Spiritually, “the waymarks” were God’s Laws and Commandments. Seventy years later, the Jews were freed to go home. They rebuilt the Temple and then Jerusalem. More importantly, they re-established their covenant with the LORD.

Are you like Israel and Judah, far from the LORD? As He waited for Israel to repent of her backslidings, the LORD is waiting for you to repent and return to Him. He chastened His people and longed for them to turn to Him. Perhaps He is chastening you. Remember, “no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby” (Hebrews 12:11).

The LORD is waiting!

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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