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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Jeremiah 32:69, 2730, 3741 comment (0)

February 23, 2006

By Don Sandley

Related Scripture: Jeremiah 32:69, 2730, 3741


Family Bible Study
Chair of Theatre, Samford University; Southwestern Seminary graduate

Doing My Part
Jeremiah 32:6–9, 27–30, 37–41

Believers sometimes struggle with wanting to see the “big picture” of God’s plan. We want to know exactly how our part fits into the big scheme. We may become frustrated or resentful if we have trouble understanding where we are contributing. Jeremiah 32:1–44 shows us how the prophet grappled with understanding his place in God’s plan and came to understand that God is big and His will is perfect.

As believers, we are called to obey God without delay. In verses 6–9, we pick up the story of Jeremiah when God tells him, in a vision, to purchase a field belonging to a family member. This seems like a pretty simple request under normal circumstances. But while God was instructing Jeremiah to buy a field, the Babylonian army was storming the gates of Judah and the final days of the kingdom were at hand. God’s plan must have made absolutely no sense to Jeremiah at all.

We may never face a situation as bizarre as the one Jeremiah encountered, but sometimes our work for the family of faith seems incongruous to the world around us. For the past three summers, I have joined the youth of my church in conducting a sports and arts camp on the campus of Judson College for the local children in Marion. Some of the children face circumstances far more severe than I am asked to face.

They have very real financial, emotional and spiritual needs. I am sometimes struck with the odd reality that I have been equipped to teach them drama games, how to make puppets or put on stage makeup. None of the things I can give them ultimately change their circumstances. In those moments of doubt, I ask God, “What am I doing and why?” The answer always comes back to me, “Just trust me on this one. I have a plan.”

I see God’s answer in the faces of the children, in the way they remember me from year to year and the way they find larger truths in the stories I tell. Your call may not make sense to you but God is at work.

Knowing that God had seen him through dark days, Jeremiah, in verses 27–30, yields to God’s purposes and accepts the fate of Judah.

What a difficult thing it must have been for Jeremiah to watch the city burn and the invading armies take his friends and neighbors into captivity. But he somehow never lost sight of God in the melee. I don’t know how I would have responded, but I suspect I would have grappled with doubt. Jeremiah understands that to accomplish His purposes, God uses a world of possibilities and sometimes God allows us to reap the consequences of our actions.

The people of Judah had lost sight of God, and the result was the invasion of the Babylonian hordes. Jeremiah’s faith called him to yield to God’s purposes.

Verses 37–41 of Jeremiah 32 offer every believer tremendous hope in the face of dark days. Jeremiah is assured that the Babylonian captivity will not end the tale of God’s people. God tells Jeremiah, “They will be my people, and I will be their God.”

What a marvelous word of assurance. Jeremiah understands that the future of God’s people is intact and that all he is seeing will amount to better days for people of faith. Ultimately Jeremiah is called to trust God’s plan and he does. I wonder if we have the courage today to embrace the same word from God.

Believers in America in 2006 have witnessed events we could never have imagined 10 years ago. We see our nation at war, we see struggles of ideology being played out in the media and we see men and women of faith at odds with one another over a range of issues.

Surely believers have moments of doubt and ask themselves where God is in all of this. If the story of Jeremiah teaches us anything, then it is that God never leaves us.

We may make a terrible mess of our world, but God will be there when we come to Him. Our best path is to trust Him and trust His plan.

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