Jeremiah 32: Our Impossible God

  • Read Jeremiah 32 here.
  • If you missed Sunday’s sermon (May 2) you can listen to it here soon.

I have been taught that one of the responsibilities of a minister (christian?) is to see people the way God sees them: to see them the way than can be, not just the way they are.  That’s a difficult task.  It’s much more natural to view people the way they are now, with their struggles, troubles, and difficulties often resulting from their past.  It’s difficult to picture that new member with strange piercings and clothing choices as a future deacon or elder, or even Sunday School teacher.

When I come to the Lord’s Table each Sunday, my thoughts often reflect on my past shortcoming and my present repentance.  I have difficulty reminding myself of how the Holy Spirit is currently at work sanctifying me, making me holy, and transforming me into the image of Christ.  While the view out the windshield is much more attractive, I spend a lot of time looking in the rear view mirror.

In Jeremiah 32:6-12 God tells Jeremiah to purchase a piece of property.  At the time, this made no sense.  Jerusalem was surrounded by the Babylonian army and the siege ramps were nearing the top of the wall.  In addition, Jeremiah was locked up by the king, and he was prophesying that the city was about to be destroyed.  This is not a good time to invest in property!

But God has a reason for making Jeremiah buy the land.

In v27 God asks, “I am the LORD, the God of the whole human race. Is anything too hard [impossible] for me?”  The nation of Judah thought they were God’s people and therefore it was impossible for Jerusalem to be destroyed.  God proved to them that nothing is impossible for Him.  But once they are in captivity they will think their nation has been destroyed, that it has not future, just a past, and God will again demonstrate that nothing is impossible for Him by returning the nation from captivity to the land and rebuilding it.  Jeremiah purchases the property as a statement of faith that after the devastation they will regain the land.  God will not forsake them.

We often feel overwhelmed by our current circumstances and allow them to not only cloud our future, but to obscure our vision of God.  We can allow the status quo to strip God of His power to accomplish the impossible.  We often need God to ask us, ” I am the LORD, the God of the whole human race. Is anything too hard [impossible] for me?

We might not answer “Yes” to God’s face, but our actions and attitudes often provide that answer.

  • Does a discussion like this make you want to say, “Yes, but I have to do my part too”? Is that a healthy response? or a sign of weak faith?
  • Have you been influenced by someone who saw your potential rather than your limitations?  How did they encourage you?
  • What have you found helpful in reminding yourself to hand a situation over to God?
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3 comments

  1. Chandra Cunningham

    I think the response, ” I have to do my part is healthy” can be a healthy one. If you ask God to improve you financial situation, you may need to make some changes in the way you handle your money. You will have to try to spend less and save more, eat out less or stay out of the mall. Once God answers your prayers, you can’t have the same poor habits or you won’t see the benefit of the blessing. However, if you decide to give less in the offering each week to improve your finances, that would be showing a lack of faith.

  2. ozziepete

    Chandra, great to see you online!!!

    I see an obvious tension in the question. Our practical minds tell us that we have to make changes, or behave in certain ways. Then our faith challenges us to “let go, and let God”. To trust Him to accomplish the impossible. Then my practical mind tells me that God often accomplishes the impossible by using people like me, not always through “miraculous” means.

    If we lack self-control with our spending at the mall, then maybe we have to take drastic action, like stop going to the mall. But is it all up to us? Can we also leave room for the Holy Spirit to work in us developing the spiritual fruit of self-control. Will we pray repeatedly and ask for God’s help in making the changes we need to make? Then when we look back on our lives we can see that God has changed us in a way that at one time we thought was impossible?

  3. Josh Freeman

    you guys made some interesting points and questions. I’m convinced that if one is having financial problems (for example) they don’t need to ask God to improve their financial problem as much as they need to ask God for the wisdom they are lacking. Granted, sometimes a crisis occurs that we need God’s help with but the majority of the time it is a lack of Godly wisdom in dealing with finances. The same is true about many of our struggles. What would happen if we prayed for a specific wisdom and began applying that wisdom. It seems this would fix many of our self made problems.

    It is a struggle between the practical and spiritual. I do believe it is a blend between the too (just like faith and works).

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