Jeremiah’s Prayer

Nothing Is Too Hard for God

This is what the LORD says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:10-11

Zedekiah, king of Judah, imprisoned Jeremiah the prophet because he didn’t like his prophecy: the king of Babylon would capture Jerusalem and Judah would lose if it chose to fight the powerful Babylonian army (Jeremiah 32:1-6).

While Jeremiah sat in prison, God gave him another prophecy: a relative would ask him to buy land that belonged to their family. Jeremiah agreed and a deed was written. God also told Jeremiah to put copies of the deed into a clay jar so they could be kept for a long time.

Not only was Jeremiah, the purchaser of the land in prison, but the land located just outside Jerusalem was also under enemy possession. Purchasing the land seemed like a waste of money: the city would fall and the people would be taken into exile for seventy years.

Why would Jeremiah buy land occupied by enemy soldiers? God told him to buy it. God promised Jeremiah, “Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land” (Jeremiah 32:15).

Jeremiah refused to please the king by saying what he wanted to hear. He refused to fear the actions of the enemy. He refused to sit back in his prison cell and feel sorry for himself. And because he believed God, he bought the land.

God allowed the enemy to conquer and take the people into captivity because of their idolatry (Jeremiah 32:29). But later He would gather them from all the lands where He had banished them. He promised, “They will be my people, and I will be their God” (37-38). Prosperity would follow. Fields would again be bought (Jeremiah 32:43).

Jeremiah’s prayer in chapter 32:17-25 begins, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (v.17).

Do enemies surround you? Is your world collapsing? Even if it your own fault, don’t think that God has abandoned you. He doesn’t promise that we’ll be free of enemies in a world full of peace. Nor does He promise that we’ll escape the consequences of our actions. But He reminds us that He is always in control.

Do we respond as Jeremiah did, “Nothing is too hard for you”?

DIG DEEPER:

Read Jeremiah 32:26-36. What had the people done to arouse God’s anger? Did that include the actions of political and religious leaders?

Read Jeremiah 32:37-43. What parts of God’s promise extend beyond the time of the return of the exiles—to a future restoration of God’s people?

As you read the daily headlines, which of God’s promises reassure you that He is in control no matter how bleak things may look? (Consider John 16:33, Romans 8:35-39, and Revelation 1:9-11.)

The Bible has examples of things God told people to do that seemed impossible: He told Noah to build an ark and Moses to cross the Red Sea, to name two. Has God ever asked you to do something that seemed impossible? What happened?

Nancy J. Baker

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