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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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A NEW FUTURE
September 21, 2014
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 32:2-9, 14-15
BACKGROUND: In 601 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, tried to invade Egypt and suffered heavy losses. Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat encouraged many of the countries who were paying tribute to Babylon (this included the nation of Judah).
Jehoiakim (king of Judah from 608 to 597 B.C.) stopped paying tributes to Babylon. However, Nebuchadnezzar dealt decisively with Judah's rebellion and laid siege to Jerusalem (which eventually fell around March 16, 597 B.C.)
One of a series of clay tablets called the Babylonian Chronicles (the Jerusalem Chronicle) that describes the major events of Babylonian history offers important facts about the siege, including the exact dates and the political appointments made by king Nebuchadnezzar.
These tablets confirm that king Nebuchadnezzar appointed Zedekiah, the uncle of Jehoiakim, as Babylon’s puppet regent ruler in Judah.
A. The time and circumstances of Jeremiah’s revelation.
It took place in the tenth year of Zedekiah, the eighteenth of Nebuchadnezzar. The siege of Jerusalem had begun in the preceding year (Jeremiah 39:1), but had been temporarily stopped because of the approach of an Egyptian army (Jeremiah 37:5 and 11).
B. Jeremiah was put in prison till the close of the siege.
Jeremiah, who had declared resistance hopeless, had been accused of treason, and imprisoned. However, like Paul the Apostle at Rome, Jeremiah was allowed free communication with visitors. We see this in Jeremiah 31:8 and Jeremiah 38:1.
I. THE SIEGE. (Jeremiah 32:1-5)
A. The result of rebellion.
(Jeremiah 32:1-2) 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. 2 For then the king of Babylon's army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah's house.
These verses relate to the chronologies of Israel and Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar’s eighteenth year was 588 b.c., at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem. The siege resulted from Zedekiah’s revolt against Babylonian rule.
B. The enslavement of Judah.
(Jeremiah 32:3-5) 3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it; 4 And Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him mouth to mouth, and his eyes shall behold his eyes; 5 And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the Lord: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.
Jeremiah was imprisoned for his declaration that Jerusalem would fall to the “Chaldeans” and “Zedekiah” would be taken captive. “face to face . . . eye to eye”: The one-on-one confrontation with Nebuchadnezzar would result in the removal of Zedekiah’s eyes (Jeremiah 39:5–7).
Note: Even though Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, was the one inflicting these punishments, Jeremiah the Prophet made it clear that the Lord Jehovah was the one disciplining Zedekiah. God was choreographing everything that was happening during this finishing siege of Jerusalem.
Zedekiah Was A Bad King
The last king of Judah, Zedekiah, reigned from 597 to 586 B.C. Zedekiah was the son of good king Josiah, and he was the uncle of king Jehoiachin. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, seized him and took him to Babylon after the siege of Jerusalem in 597 B.C. Zedekiah was only 21 years of age when he was made regent over Judah by Nebuchadnezzar.
King Zedekiah, however, began forming partnerships against Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, but that was to be a doomed strategy. While the army of the Egyptians made the Babylonians to stop their march to Jerusalem for a while, the Egyptians eventually turned back to Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar and his army continued their conquest of Judah and Jerusalem, as Jeremiah had prophesied (see, Jeremiah 37:5-7).
King Zedekiah tried to escape with his army during the last siege of Jerusalem, but he was captured by the Babylonians. After Zedekiah watched his own sons being killed, the Babylonians put out his eyes and took him to Babylon (see, 2 Kings 25:7).
II. PROPERTY REDEMPTION. (Jeremiah 32:6-9)
A. God’s plan.
(Jeremiah 32:6-8) 6 And Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 7 Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. 8 So Hanameel mine uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
The Lord instructed Jeremiah to purchase a field in his hometown of “Anathoth” (three miles north of Jerusalem) when Jeremiah’s cousin “Hanamel” came to visit. “Right of redemption,” according to Leviticus 25:25–30, gave a man the right to redeem property when a relative found it necessary to sell land because of debt or financial failure.
B. Jeremiah’s redemption.
(Jeremiah 32:9) 9 And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.
Jeremiah bought (“redeemed”) the land at the correct market price. The land transaction was conducted according to the legal customs of the day. The price of “seventeen shekels” would amount to about seven ounces of “silver” (about $140.00 in 2014 American money).
Jeremiah handed over the silver to Hanamel. Because there would be witnesses in the prison courtyard, a very public place, God made it clear (trough Jeremiah’s purchase) that one day the LORD (“Jehovah”) would bring Israel and Judah back to the Promised Land.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is!
“Put your money where your mouth is!” is an old American saying that means “Practice what you preach!” The Prophet Jeremiah had been preaching that the Jews would one day return from exile, so the Lord made him prove that he really believed the Lord’s promise. Whenever we share the Word with people, we should expect to be tested. Because, this is the only way others can tell the reality of our faith.
How foolish to purchase some property in a town occupied by the enemy! But if Jeremiah really believed that there was a future for that land, he would not hesitate to buy it. The Lord’s people live in the future tense and measure today’s decisions in the light of tomorrow’s certainties.
We may feel let down after we have made a great step of faith, and that is the time to pray and let God speak to us and assure us. People may laugh at us, but we must rest in the Lord. We must allow God to encourage us. – Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee
III. PROMISE OF RESTORATION. (Jeremiah 32:14-15)
A. God told Jeremiah to preserve the evidence.
(Jeremiah 32:14) 14 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Take these evidences, this evidence of the purchase, both which is sealed, and this evidence which is open; and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may continue many days.
“Earthen vessel”: Examples of storage jars that served as safety-deposit vessels have been excavated in Judah.
Note: The Dead Sea Scrolls were also stored in ceramic vessels, aiding their preservation for almost two thousand years.
The preserved message of the purchase was assurance and confirmation that restoration of the land was certain.
B. God made Jeremiah a promise.
(Jeremiah 32:15) 15 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.
“Shall be possessed again”: Jeremiah realized that the end of the city was near (Jeremiah 32:2); his action in purchasing the land was a remarkable demonstration of faith in God; the people of Judah and Israel would return one day to their land.
Although God will destroy Jerusalem because of the idolatry of the people, yet He will later gather His own and bless them greatly. Property will be bought and sold again, and thus the deed to the field of Anathoth will still be validated in a coming day.
Note: Without a doubt, the Jews were to be carried into captivity. So, while the immediate viewpoint of the Jewish people was on the siege, God’s long-term plans were for His people’s return to the Promised Land. Likewise, Christian believers know that the Lord has a long-term plan that looks far beyond the present, and God’s plan has our best interests in mind no matter what the current situation may look like.
The Savior can solve every problem,
The tangles of life can undo.
There’s nothing too hard for Jesus;
There’s nothing that He cannot do.
All We Need To Know
By David H. Roper
In a Fernando Ortega rendition of “Just As I Am,” Billy Graham’s voice can be heard faintly in the background. Dr. Graham is reminiscing about an illness during which he believed he was dying. As he mused on his past, he realized what a great sinner he was and how much he continues to need God’s daily forgiveness.
Billy Graham was putting an end to the notion that apart from God we’re okay. We can feel good about ourselves, but that confidence must come from the knowledge that we’re greatly loved children of God (John 3:16), not that we’re very good children (Romans 7:18).
The first step in becoming a truly “good” person as a follower of Jesus Christ is to stop pretending that we’re good on our own and to ask God to make us as good as we can be. We will fail many times, but He will keep growing us and changing us. God is faithful and -- in His time and in His way -- He’ll do it.
In his final years, the writer of “Amazing Grace,” John Newton, suffered from dementia and lamented the loss of his memory. Yet he confided, “I do remember two things: I am a great sinner, and Jesus is a great Savior.” When it comes to faith, those are the only things anyone needs to know. -- David H. Roper, Our Daily Bread, August 4, 2014
Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.
A. In Jeremiah 32:16-25, Jeremiah seemed to doubt what the Lord had instructed him to do, even though he had preached the answer (see, Jeremiah 32:15).
But Jeremiah responded by asking for God’s help, providing insight into his prayer life. The prayer consisted almost entirely of praise, acknowledging God for His sovereign loving-kindness and His marvelous deeds in redeeming Israel. Jeremiah took his doubts to the Lord.
B. The answer the Lord gave is found in Jeremiah 32:26-44 and is a summary of everything He had proclaimed through Jeremiah to this point:
(1) That God’s judgment was because of the sins of Israel and Judah.
(2) That God’s promise was that Israel and Judah would be restored in the future.
C. What Jeremiah needed was a reminder.
Note: This principle of “remembrance and repetition” of truth is a biblical principle (Deuteronomy 6:4–9, 20–25).
Jehovah was delivering Judah unto judgment (Israel was being judged, too). In a future day, the Lord will deliver them in mercy -- this is His promise.
When we go to God and let Him know how we feel, He will encourage our hearts as He did for Jeremiah. God wants us to come to Him.
The day was very dark for Judah, but God allowed the Prophet Jeremiah to look down through the tunnel to where light can be seen at the other end. In chapter 33 God confirms and reaffirms the covenant that He made with David. There is a day coming when the Lord will restore the people to the land of Israel and to fellowship with Himself.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “God’s grace accepted is God’s peace experienced.”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, selected illustrations, and other references.
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