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Jeremiah's Prison Ministry

INTRODUCTION: Jeremiah was in prison in Jerusalem. The city was besieged by the Babylonians. According to Jeremiah’s own prophecy, Jerusalem would soon be destroyed and the people of Israel would be taken into captivity. In the midst of this turmoil, the Lord commanded Jeremiah to buy a field from his cousin in his home town of Anathoth. Jeremiah was unlikely to get any benefit from the field, but he was to buy it anyway. God used this event to promise future restoration of Israel. Fields would again be bought and sold in the land. This was a message of hope and promise in a time of destruction.

  1. THE PURCHASE OF THE FIELD (Jeremiah 32:1-15)
    1. The Time of the Purchase (Jeremiah 32:1-5)
      1. During the siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:1-2)
        1. In the 10th year of Zedekiah (Jeremiah 32:1)
        2. In the 18th year of Nebuchadrezzar (Jeremiah 32:1)
        3. As the king of Babylons army had besieged Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:2)
      2. During the imprisonment of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:2-3)
        1. In Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:2)
        2. In the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judahs house (Jeremiah 32:2)
        3. Where Zedekiah had shut him up for preaching the word of the Lord (Jeremiah 32:3-5)
          1. The city would be given into the hand of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 32:3).
          2. Zedekiah would not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:4).
          3. Zedekiah would be led to Babylon (Jeremiah 32:5).
    2. The Call to Purchase (Jeremiah 32:6-7)
      1. Hanameel, Jeremiahs cousin, would pay Jeremiah a visit (Jeremiah 32:7).
      2. He would ask Jeremiah to buy his field in Anathoth (Jeremiah 32:7).
      3. The right of redemption belonged unto Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:7).
        1. His right by reason of his family relationship
        2. A picture of the inheritance which is our right because of our entry into the family of God by salvation (Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:10)
    3. The Purchase (Jeremiah 32:8-9)
      1. The confirmation of the word of the LORD (Jeremiah 32:8)
        1. Hanameel came unto Jeremiah.
        2. Hanameel asked Jeremiah to buy his field.
        3. Jeremiah knew it was the word of the LORD.
      2. Jeremiah purchased the field in obedience to the LORD (Jeremiah 32:9).
        1. He bought the field.
        2. He weighed him the money, 17 shekels of silver.
          1. Abraham paid 400 shekels for the cave of Machpeleh (Genesis 23:9-16).
          2. David paid 50 shekels for the threshingfloor and oxen of Araunah (2 Samuel 24:24).
          3. The price of 17 shekels for the field seems low and odd.
            1. It was a time when the country was disintegrating.
            2. Jeremiah was in prison in Jerusalem.
            3. Perhaps it was all he could afford.
    4. The Legality of the Purchase (Jeremiah 32:10-14)
      1. The evidence (Jeremiah 32:10-11)
        1. Sealed evidence
          1. Subscribed by Jeremiah and the witnesses (Jeremiah 32:10, 12)
          2. Sealed by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:10)
          3. Sealed according to the law and custom (Jeremiah 32:11)
        2. Open evidence Very likely the same as the sealed evidence only open to the public view (Jeremiah 32:10, 14)
      2. The transfer of money (Jeremiah 32:10)
      3. The delivery of the evidence (Jeremiah 32:11-12)
        1. Delivered by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 32:11)
        2. Delivered unto Baruch the scribe (Jeremiah 32:12)
        3. Delivered in the presence of witnesses (Jeremiah 32:12)
          1. Hanameel
          2. The witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase
          3. All the Jews that sat in the court of the prison
      4. The preservation of the evidence (Jeremiah 32:13-14)
        1. Charged to Baruch (Jeremiah 32:13)
        2. Preserved in an earthen vessel (Jeremiah 32:14)
        3. Preserved for many days (Jeremiah 32:14); Note: The evidence was to be preserved only until it would no longer be necessary. The Lord promises to preserve His word forever (Psalm 12:6-7).
    5. The Message of the Purchase (Jeremiah 32:15)
      1. The diligence to purchase legally suggested that it will matter in the future.
      2. The purchase was Gods promise that Israel would again live in the land.
  2. THE PRAYER OF THE PROPHET (Jeremiah 32:16-25)
    1. His Person Who He Is (Jeremiah 32:16-19)
      1. He is all-powerful (Jeremiah 32:17, 27; Luke 1:37).
        1. He made heaven and earth by His great power and stretched out arm.
        2. There is nothing too hard for Him.
      2. He is just (Jeremiah 32:18).
        1. He shews lovingkindness unto thousands; this speaks of God drawing men to repentance and to Himself through various trials (Psalm 107).
        2. He will recompense the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children.
      3. His has an exalted name (Jeremiah 32:18).
        1. The Great
        2. The Mighty God
        3. The LORD of hosts
      4. He is all-wise (Jeremiah 32:19; Romans 11:33).
        1. He is great in counsel.
        2. His eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men.
          1. To give every one according to his ways
          2. To give every one according to the fruit of his doings
    2. His Work What He Does (Jeremiah 32:20-25)
      1. He reveals Himself to man (Jeremiah 32:20; Psalm 65:2).
        1. He set signs and wonders.
          1. In the land of Egypt
          2. In Israel
          3. Among other men
        2. He made Himself a name.
      2. He delivers man from harm (Jeremiah 32:21; Psalm 4:8).
        1. He brought Israel out of Egypt.
        2. He delivered them by multiple means.
          1. With signs and wonders
          2. With a strong hand
          3. With a stretched out arm
          4. With great terror
      3. He keeps His promises (Jeremiah 32:22-24).
        1. To give blessings (Jeremiah 32:22; Luke 19:10)
          1. He gave Israel their land.
          2. According as He had promised their fathers
        2. To bring judgment (Jeremiah 32:23-24; Acts 17:31)
          1. The Israelites disobeyed the Lord in the land (Jeremiah 32:23).
          2. Therefore the Lord had caused evil to come upon them (Jeremiah 32:23-24).
            1. By the sword
            2. By the famine
            3. By the pestilence
    3. His Present Working (Jeremiah 32:25)
      1. He spoke to Jeremiah.
      2. He instructed Jeremiah to buy a field with witnesses to suggest a future restoration.
      3. Even though the city was currently given into the hand of the Chaldeans
  3. THE PROMISES OF THE LORD (Jeremiah 32:26-44)
    1. The Foundation of the Promises (Jeremiah 32:26-27)
      1. The promises given by the Lord (Jeremiah 32:26)
      2. The promises stand or fall upon the Lord (Jeremiah 32:27).
        1. He is the LORD.
        2. He is the God of all flesh.
        3. Nothing is too hard for me.
    2. The Deliverance of Jerusalem to the Babylonians (Jeremiah 32:28-29)
      1. The Lord will give Israel into the hand of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 32:28).
      2. The Lord will give Israel into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar (Jeremiah 32:28).
      3. The judgment was in response to idolatry (Jeremiah 32:29).
    3. The Disobedience of the People of God (Jeremiah 32:30-35)
      1. They have only done evil from their youth (Jeremiah 32:30).
      2. They have provoked the Lord to anger (Jeremiah 32:30-32).
        1. The means of provocation - By the work of their hands (Jeremiah 32:30)
        2. The participants of provocation (Jeremiah 32:31-32)
          1. The city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:31)
            1. From the day they built it
            2. Even unto this day
            3. That I should remove it from before my face
          2. All the children of Israel and of Judah (Jeremiah 32:32)
            1. Their kings
            2. Their princes
            3. Their priests
            4. Their prophets
            5. Their men
      3. They have turned their back unto the Lord (Jeremiah 32:33).
        1. Their response
          1. They turned their backs unto God.
          2. They did not turn their faces unto God.
          3. They hearkened not to receive instruction.
          4. Note: The turning of the back or shoulder much like the stiffness of neck is a picture of rebellion and refusal to listen to the Lord (Jeremiah 2:27; Jeremiah 7:24; Jeremiah 18:17; Zechariah 7:11).
        2. Gods efforts He taught them, rising up early.
      4. They have worshipped other gods (Jeremiah 32:34-35).
        1. They set their abominations in the Lords house (Jeremiah 32:34).
        2. They built the high places of Baal (Jeremiah 32:35).
          1. In the valley of the son of Hinnom
          2. In order to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech
          3. To cause Judah to sin
    4. The Deliverance of the People of God (Jeremiah 32:36-44)
      1. Their return from captivity (Jeremiah 32:36-37)
        1. The captivity (Jeremiah 32:36)
          1. The victim of captivity this city
          2. The enemy of captivity Babylon
          3. The means of captivity
            1. By the sword
            2. By the famine
            3. By the pestilence
        2. The promise of return (Jeremiah 32:37; Ezekiel 11:17-18; Ezekiel 36:24)
          1. I will gather them out of all countries.
          2. Whither I have driven them
            1. In mine anger
            2. In my fury
            3. In great wrath
          3. I will bring them again unto this place.
          4. I will cause them to dwell safely.
      2. The making of a covenant (Jeremiah 32:38-40)
        1. The paternal nature of the covenant (Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 36:28)
          1. They shall be my people.
          2. I will be their God.
          3. Note: There are some aspects of this covenant that are also enjoyed by the church age saint, but the covenant should not be confused with Gods dealings with the church.
        2. The righteous nature of the covenant (Jeremiah 32:39)
          1. Gods efforts (Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Hebrews 8:8-13)
            1. I will give them one heart.
            2. I will give them one way.
          2. Gods purpose
            1. For the good of them
            2. For the good of their children
          3. Note: The connection to Hebrews 8, specifically Hebrews 8:11, provides a connection to Isaiah 2 and Jeremiah 31:32-34 proving that this covenant is the one given to Israel in the kingdom that will be established upon the earth.
        3. The duration of the covenant (Jeremiah 32:40)
          1. I will make an everlasting covenant with them.
          2. I will not turn away from them (Hebrews 10:15-17).
            1. I will do them good.
            2. I will put my fear in their hearts.
          3. They shall not depart from me.
      3. The renewal of joy (Jeremiah 32:41-42)
        1. I will rejoice over them to do them good (Jeremiah 32:41).
        2. I will plant them in this land assuredly (Jeremiah 32:41).
          1. With my whole heart
          2. With my whole soul
        3. I will keep my promise of restoration after chastening (Jeremiah 32:42).
          1. Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people
          2. So will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.
      4. The buying of fields (Jeremiah 32:43-44)
        1. The contrast (Jeremiah 32:43)
          1. The future fields shall be bought in this land.
          2. The present
            1. It was desolate without man or beast.
            2. It was given into the hand of the Chaldeans.
        2. The promise of restoration (Jeremiah 32:44)
          1. The evidence of restoration Men shall buy fields for money.
            1. They will subscribe evidences.
            2. They will seal them.
            3. They will take witnesses.
          2. The extent of restoration
            1. In the land of Benjamin
            2. In the places about Jerusalem
            3. In the cities of Judah
            4. In the cities of the mountains
            5. In the cities of the valley
            6. In the cities of the south
          3. The cause of restoration I will cause their captivity to return.

CONCLUSION: The Lord is clear that judgment is brought upon the people of God because of their rebellion and idolatry, but He is just as clear that He will restore the people when the chastening is past. God is equally faithful to judge and restore. His word is on the line for both.