Monday, July 2, 2012

Listen First, Ask Later

So I was reading Jeremiah the other day and chapterthirty-two stopped me. Mainly because of it’s title: Jeremiah Buys a Field.


Smack dab in the middle of all his prophecies and Israel’s destruction by Babylon, Jeremiah stops to buy a field. And not just any field. One that’s in the middle of the rubble. That’s like buying a block of London right in the middle of the bombing during WWII. Crazy.

But that’s what’s so cool about Jeremiah. He did crazy because God asked Him to. Make no mistake. He didn’t fully understand it at first either, but He did it.  In fact, listen to his response:

“See how the siege ramps are built up to take the city. Because of the sword, famine, and plague the city will be handed over to the Babylonians who are attacking it. What you said has happened, as you now see. And though the city will be handed over to the Babylonians, you, O Sovereign Lord, say to me, ‘Buy the field with silver and have the transaction witnessed.’”(vs. 24-25)
Thing is, that response came after he obeyed.

Here’s his initial response:

“I knew this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field…” (vs. 8 & 9)

Here's the thing, there will be times where God calls us to do something that we don’t fully understand, but all He’s asking for is obedience. That takes a huge amount of faith. It also means we better know His voice. Jeremiah shelved his questions until after he responded because he knew God’s voice.

And that’s what I want—to know His voice so intimately that I don’t even have to ask. I can jump, no matter how crazy it sounds to me. I’m not always going to have the full picture, but I’m not supposed to because that’s His job. All I need to do is be willing.

Ultimately, God does answer Jonah’s question. It’s all one big object lesson. He’s punishing Israel by handing them over to Babylon, but that punishment won’t last forever. Yes, He was angry, yes they were being punished, but then He was going to hug them. He would “bring them back to this place and let them live in safety.” (vs.37) They’d return and “fields [would] be bought” again. (vs. 44)

And He demonstrates this promise through Jeremiah purchasing the field.

Good thing Jeremiah listened first. It allowed God to bring hope in the middle of what appeared a hopeless situation.

What about you? Have you ever been told to "go buy that field"? If not, do you know His voice well enough that when He asks, you'll listen?


  1. Last year God told us to buy a new house...before we sold our old one. It was definitely God's voice and both my husband and I prayed and discussed it, but we knew without a doubt that He was calling us to do it. It was stressful and it took a LOT of faith on our part, but God put all the amazing pieces together and now we can see His hand working not only in our life, but in the life of another family who needed a place to rent. Over the past year both families have witnessed miracles and we've become really good friends. I'm so thankful we listened and did what God asked us to do.

  2. I would say that's definitely stepping out!:) What I love is how you got to watch God at work in the midst of it. And gained new friends:)