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An Impractical Command

"'"Yet you, O Lord GOD, have said to me, 'Buy the field for money and get witnesses'--though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans"'" (Jeremiah 32:25).

Sometimes God's directions don't make sense. In the middle of the siege of Jerusalem, God told Jeremiah--who was in prison at the time--to buy the field his cousin was putting up for sale. Jeremiah did as instructed, getting the official witnesses and purchasing the field.

Afterwards, though, he began to ask why. This was a strange directive. For years, he had been foretelling the doom of Jerusalem, warning of the time when the city would fall and there would be no one left to inhabit it. That time was almost here; and yet here he was going about the casual, mundane task of buying property.

But God had more planned for this than just a transfer of land. He was going to use this as an object lesson, and this time, it came with a message of hope. Jeremiah's purchase looked forward to a day when Jerusalem would again be prosperous, when the inhabitants would have the opportunity to buy and sell land. One day soon, the everyday tasks would be normal again. There would be no threat of exile hanging over their heads. They could really live again.

If Jeremiah hadn't obeyed God in this matter, likely nothing dreadful would have happened. He would have borne the guilt of disobedience, yes, but the nation wouldn't have crumbled around him. But he would have missed this message of hope God was waiting to give him. By doing this random, impractical thing, he set himself up to receive God's promise of a hopeful future for his people.

God will often ask us to do things that just don't make sense. At best they're impractical; at worst, impossible. But as God reminded Jeremiah, "'Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?'" (32:27).

We don't have to understand God's instructions. Our job is to obey Him. Nothing is impossible for Him. Who can say what He has planned for our simple act of obedience?

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