The prophet Jeremiah had a half-full approach to life when it came to God’s promises. He had faith and he acted upon that every day of his life. Jeremiah’s example is a tremendous lesson of faith for us today.
[Darris McNeely] We’ve been going through a series talking about life in the mind view that is either half-full or half-empty, the old cliché about the glass of water that we know about. But it really does teach us an important lesson. There’s a story from the Bible. It’s one my favorite stories of living a positive, long-term approach to life. It’s in Jeremiah chapter 32 and it’s the story of Jeremiah who buys a field. Now, buying a piece of real estate isn’t anything out of the ordinary, except in this case with Jeremiah it came what you would consider a low-market, a bad market and not an opportune time to be investing. Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonian army. The armies of the King Nebuchadnezzar were going to take over Jerusalem. The nation of Judah was coming to its end.
Jeremiah knew it because he’d been talking about it for quite a long time and it was finally there, and Jeremiah was not only watching that, he was watching it from prison in the King’s house. And the Word of God came to him, as you go into the accounts of Jeremiah 32, and God told him in a vision, “You’re gonna be visited by a man named Hanamel, who is your cousin, and he is going to offer you to buy a field and you need to take him up on that offer.” Well, sure enough, Hanamel came into Jeremiah’s cell, offered him to buy the field because it was his right to do so, and Jeremiah bought the field, in verse 9, from his cousin. He weighed out 17 shekels of silver. He signed the deed, took the witnesses, went through all the title search, and filed it with a clerk, and bought the field.
And then he went to God and he said, “God, why did I have to do this? Prices are low. We’re not even gonna be a country anymore. We can’t even transfer title anymore because a foreign power’s gonna be coming in. Everything’s going to be different.” God says, “I did it because I’m teaching you a lesson that I am going to restore the fortunes of Jerusalem and the nation. People will come back.” And as it goes through the whole chapter, it’s very long, don’t have time to read it all, God says, “That once again, they will be my people and I will be their God, and I’ll give them one heart and one way that they may fear me forever” (Jeremiah 32:1-45 Jeremiah 32:1-45 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar.
2 For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house.
3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Why do you prophesy, and say, Thus said the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it;
4 And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes;
5 And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, said the LORD: though you fight with the Chaldeans, you shall not prosper.
6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the LORD came to me, saying,
7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum your uncle shall come to you saying, Buy you my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is your to buy it.
8 So Hanameel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the LORD, and said to me, Buy my field, I pray you, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours; buy it for yourself. Then I knew that this was the word of the LORD.
9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
10 And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances.
11 So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open:
12 And I gave the evidence of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison.
13 And I charged Baruch before them, saying,
14 Thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
15 For thus said the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.
16 Now when I had delivered the evidence of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the LORD, saying,
17 Ah Lord GOD! behold, you have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for you:
18 You show loving kindness to thousands, and recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,
19 Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for your eyes are open on all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
20 Which have set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even to this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and have made you a name, as at this day;
21 And have brought forth your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, and with wonders, and with a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with great terror;
22 And have given them this land, which you did swear to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey;
23 And they came in, and possessed it; but they obeyed not your voice, neither walked in your law; they have done nothing of all that you commanded them to do: therefore you have caused all this evil to come on them:
24 Behold the mounts, they are come to the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what you have spoken is come to pass; and, behold, you see it.
25 And you have said to me, O Lord GOD, Buy you the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
26 Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying,
27 Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?
28 Therefore thus said the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it:
29 And the Chaldeans, that fight against this city, shall come and set fire on this city, and burn it with the houses, on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal, and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.
30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have only done evil before me from their youth: for the children of Israel have only provoked me to anger with the work of their hands, said the LORD.
31 For this city has been to me as a provocation of my anger and of my fury from the day that they built it even to this day; that I should remove it from before my face,
32 Because of all the evil of the children of Israel and of the children of Judah, which they have done to provoke me to anger, they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets, and the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
33 And they have turned to me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not listened to receive instruction.
34 But they set their abominations in the house, which is called by my name, to defile it.
35 And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.
36 And now therefore thus said the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof you say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;
37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, where I have driven them in my anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again to this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
39 And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
42 For thus said the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil on this people, so will I bring on them all the good that I have promised them.
43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof you say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, said the LORD.
American King James Version×). But that was going to be 70 years in the future, beyond Jeremiah’s lifetime. And yet he bought something for a legacy, on God’s word, on faith, according to God’s promise.
And God says, “They will once again buy and sell land in Jerusalem,” according to His way and law, under His sovereignty, “But, Jeremiah, you do this,” and Jeremiah did it. He did it because in spite of the passion that he had, the negative consequences of his own prophetic message that he lived with and dealt with, Jeremiah had a half-full approach when it came to God. And he believed God, God’s promises. He had faith and he acted upon that every day of his life, even to putting down 17 shekels of silver out of his own pocket to buy a piece land that, essentially, he would never use and not have any control over as an example. And it stands for us today of a tremendous lesson of faith.
As we look at life and the approach that we have and whether or not our life, like this glass with water, is either half-empty or half-full, I hope you will seriously consider, with this example and the others we’ve talked about in this series, of being in control of your life and being the one who’s pouring the water into the glass. And regardless of where the water might be at any given time, you’re in charge. You’re in control. And you recognize that you have some, which means you have an abundance. Take that approach and you’re going to have a life of joy. You’re gonna have a life that is aiming you straight toward the kingdom of God and the mindset of those servants who Christ will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
That’s BT Daily . Hope you’ve enjoyed these series. Join us next time.