“See how the siege ramps have been built against the city walls!…And yet, O Sovereign Lord, you have told me to buy the field – paying good money for it…”
God’s instructions often seem incongruous to me
Joshua 6: Battle plan: March around Jericho seven times, blow trumpets, and yell.
2 Chronicles 20: Go outside the fortified city and stand still before the three nations who wait to destroy you.
Jeremiah 32: Buy a field in a city that’s currently under siege, right before the country changes possession, and also while you’re in prison and can’t even use it.
It’s not the advice wizened, experienced men would have given. But Jericho fell, three armies lay slaughtered, and Babylon didn’t last forever. So it was good that young men, not sure how to proceed, asked the Lord and listened.
Nothing is too hard for you
Jeremiah’s response in his situation made me laugh, it was so relatable: Okay, Lord, I paid GOOD MONEY for this, I am TRYING to believe you and feel good about this decision, but I’m mighty uncomfortable…do you see the siege ramps?! Do you not recognize where this is headed?
It looked like a waste of money in an unstable time when Jeremiah really might need it. If there’s anything he didn’t need from his prison cell in the middle of a city under siege, it was a field. But God told him to buy it, so he ran to a promise:
“O Sovereign Lord! You made heaven and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” (verse 17)
and God echoed it:
“I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?…Fields will again be bought and sold in this land…” (verse 27, 43)
Buying land meant taking God at his word that even though the city was burning right now, He would restore Jerusalem, and it would be worth having the field when the time came.
I might need to do something normal
Sometimes, it’s not even that an investment has such an incredible return down the road, but that the act of investing in God’s promises does my heart good here and now, especially when things feel out-of-control, unstable, under siege.
Perhaps that is when it’s most important to bank on the fact that He keeps his promises, and that nothing is too hard for Him. Perhaps that is when I most need to do something normal.
To read a story, shop for groceries, take a nap, go on a walk, even at incongruous times. To stop and have a conversation, to pick a flower, to watch a sunset, to buy a field.
Sometimes, small actions like that are actually really big.
Because setting aside the weight of the world to just do the next small thing He asks of me means choosing that I believe He will take care of me. And when I decide that I just can’t believe that right now, my moments and my days and my sunsets are stolen away and I am left desperate, distracted, and spread thin until the crisis wanes.
But I can choose instead to carry on as if things will be okay, even when they look like they won’t be. Even when there are siege ramps.
Maybe that’s why it’s so significant that Jesus napped in a storm-tossed boat.
Perhaps it’s okay to be unsure how to proceed; to just ask Him and do what’s next, even if that looks foolish to a world that obsesses over the news, works 70-hour weeks, plans precise futures, and claws after the power to bring them about.
A world that lives in constant terror of a crisis or a Savior who offers rest in the midst of it. Whom will I follow?
A deep breath & a prayer
Always you are offering a life free of worry, if I will only trust you enough to enjoy it.
Banking on your faithfulness is always a good investment. So help me, when the siege ladders go up, to take a deep breath, close my eyes, lean into you, and buy a field. Help me to make my decisions based on your steady promises of what will be, not based on fear and worry and what-if’s.
I’m tired of constantly reacting to the thousand emergencies that fall across my path, scrambling this way and that to hoard security in whatever way I can. That is no way to live.
You have given me the ability to walk calmly through hard situations, eyes ahead, certain that nothing is too hard for you; not even this. So Lord, show me how to hear you and step into that, to see a crisis and do something normal, to see a city falling, and obey you when you say to buy a field.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”