WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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A NEW FUTURE
(Invest in GOD’s plan)
In the tenth year of King Zedekiah’s reign in Judah, and the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign in Babylon, Jerusalem found itself under siege from the Babylonian army. History now tells us that the final destruction of Jerusalem was less than two years away. King Zedekiah had imprisoned the prophet Jeremiah because he continued to prophecy treasonously against him and Judah, as the LORD had instructed him to do. Zedekiah had failed in his attempt to engage the help of Egypt to force Nebuchadnezzar to let him out of his pledge to obey and serve under him in the name of the GOD of Israel. This is the message that the LORD gave to Jeremiah concerning King Zedekiah (Vs.3-5);
“This is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to hand this city over to the king of Babylon, and he will take it. King Zedekiah will be captured by the Babylonians and taken to meet the king of Babylon face to face. He will take Zedekiah to Babylon, and I will deal with him there,’ says the Lord. ‘If you fight against the Babylonians, you will never succeed.” (NLT)
It is during this season of gloom that GOD gives yet another message to the prophet Jeremiah. It is a message so odd that even Jeremiah (through his prayer in verses 16-25) requested an explanation from the Almighty sovereign GOD as to why HE would have him purchase land that had already been taken from them by foreigners. In verses 6-7 the LORD tells Jeremiah;
“Your cousin Hanamel son of Shallum will come and say to you, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth. By law you have the right to buy it before it is offered to anyone else.”
And so, Hanamel, Jeremiah’s cousin, did visit him in prison (v.8) with the offer to buy a parcel of land in Anathoth where the Babylonians had already taken over. Anathoth was a city in the tribe of Benjamin that was given to the Levites (1 Kings 2:26). It was the birthplace of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:1), and was located about three miles northwest of Jerusalem.
Hanamel was following the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 25:25-28, Ruth 4:1-6) which required a person to redeem the property of a relative who was forced to sell so that it would not leave possession of the family. That is why it was told to Jeremiah that “it was his right and duty” to purchase the land if he could afford to.
Jeremiah did purchase the land, and his actions were based on his faith in, and, obedience to the Almighty GOD. Scripture does not record the size of the property, however, for an average parcel of land in those days, Jeremiah’s purchase price of only seven ounces of silver would be quite a bargain, if it were not for the fact that he wasn’t going to take possession of it any time soon (the Babylonian ordeal would last for seventy years).
Jeremiah signed and sealed the deed before witnesses, and paid his cousin for the property. He made a copy of the original deed and sealed it, and the copy was left unsealed for future examination (Vs.10-12). Jeremiah then handed the deeds to Baruch, his trusted friend and scribe, and instructed him to put them both in a jar for safe keeping. It was a sign of faith that he believed the LORD when HE said that someday HIS people would again own property in the land of Judah, and the land would be replenished with houses, fields, and vineyards (Vs.13-15).
Jeremiah trusted in GOD’s promise, and he trusted in GOD’s plan for his life, and, for the lives of his family in the next generation. And so he chose to leave a legacy of faith that would transcend their current troubles, and then, he put his money where his mouth was, and financially invested in the Kingdom of GOD.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website