Jeremiah has asked God “why” he was told to buy a field when the city was to fall to Nebuchadnezzar. “Because I will restore” says the Lord.
Jeremiah has been sharing EVERYTHING God gives him with the people; in written and oral form. God told him to write these things down. God also tells him where to go to share His word and who he should address. This time, those who hear God’s answer are the ones who are with Jeremiah as he is imprisoned in the court of the guard. King Zedekiah had him put there for telling the people that Judah and Jerusalem would fall.
These same onlookers witnessed Jeremiah purchasing a piece of property as the kinsman redeemer. They heard as he told his scribe to put the deed, both opened and sealed copies, into an earthenware jar for safe keeping. And they witnessed Jeremiah ask God WHY he was told to do this.
When Jeremiah asked God “why” it wasn’t in anger or despair. It was for clarification. “Why would You have me do this when You said You were going to destroy this place and send this people into exile?” Jeremiah was respectful when he asked his question and also recognized that God has the right to do whatever He chooses.
Jeremiah had shared God’s plan to bring the people back after 70 years. But was he wondering if maybe God had changed His mind about the exile? Was he thinking that God would end up doing to him the same thing that happened to Jonah; where the people repented and God relented?
God hadn’t relented because the people refused to repent. So, “why” God? Because He was going to start fresh. God tells Jeremiah that He will bring the people back from where He has scattered them. And He will change their hearts. Their hearts will remain true to Him after this point. They may not follow Him with their whole hearts but they would never again try and replace Him with other gods.
God made SURE His people knew that He would not be mad at them forever. That His anger would pass and He would again gather them to Himself and protect them. This did NOT mean an easy ride for Israel! History tells us of their difficult path. But they would never be sent away again into exile. They would face other challenges but they would remain fast in their ties to the God of Abraham. And I KNOW they will eventually accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah.
One more thing that is not included in this portion of God’s answer that I want to highlight. God promised to watch over them while they were in exile. He didn’t forget about them for one moment. He saw to it that they received the punishment they had earned but He NEVER stopped loving them.
God has good things ahead for us too. He has promised judgment to come for this world but He has also promised GREAT GLORY on the other side of it. And He will not abandon those who love Him during the dark days ahead.
Father God, I don’t know exactly where this journey with You will take me. But KNOWING You are on it with me is enough. I trust You with my heart; to bring it to repentance when needed, to fill it with joy, and the keep it ‘little enough’ that I always feel Your awe and wonder. Lead on Father, for there is no other to follow.