Archive for January, 2016

BUY THE FIELD

BUY THE FIELD

“From afar Adonai appeared to me.” “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”(Jeremiah 31:3)

What dark days the prophet Jeremiah was living in. He had been called from his youth to be a voice of rebuke and warning to his people and leaders; hoping they would return to the LORD (*Jeremiah 1:4-10). His message of immanent judgment went unheeded. His heart was wrenched with fearsome agony as the days that he had warned the people about were now at hand. Their fearsome enemies, the Chaldeans had breached the wall of the city and would soon bring destruction and carry them away captives to Babylon.   And as if that were not enough, for all his faithfulness to deliver God’s Words of warning, he finds himself shut up in prison.

Jeremiah teaches us that our love and obedience to God will not always bring immediate reward. Sometimes it involves our willingness to suffer for God (and with His people), hoping that His chastisement will cause a preferred outcome. The word says, “Judgment begins in the house of God”. His judgments do not come as capricious acts of punishments for evil. But they are sent as correctives to persistent rebellion that has been tolerated among them, willfully straying from the path of His Word and ways. Isaiah declares,” The arm of the LORD is not so short that He cannot save, nor His ear dull that He cannot hear. But, your sin and iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). Sin separates us from a holy God.   Returning to a holy God (repentance) is God’s prescription for our ills, as it were.

COMFORT IN CRISIS

Jeremiah discovers, in suffering imprisonment, he is not forgotten. Nor has the LORD God forsaken His people, utterly. In Jeremiah Chapter 31, under the expression “Behold, the days are coming”(see vs. 27,31, & 38), God announces restoration and redemption. The remnant of His people will return from where they have been scattered; they will be reestablished in their land; the people will no longer look to their idols nor practice their idolatrous ways. They will own their true God-given identity and serve the LORD their God. “This is the Name by which He will be called: Adonai (The LORD) our righteousness”(Jeremiah 33:16b).

BUY THE FIELD

In light of these promises, Jeremiah is instructed to buy a field owned by his nephew. He gets witnesses of two written title deeds, pays the full agreed the price for the field in front of them. One deed is sealed in a jar to preserve the document; the other is left unsealed for all to read. It was a faith declaration to Israel that God would be faithful to keep His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Likewise, He would keep His covenant promise to David that his throne would be eternally secured (*Read Jeremiah 33:10-21). Ultimately, fulfilled in Jesus, the Messiah, the King of Israel (*John 1:49).

This lesson should teach and encourage each of us in dark days. Yes, there is always a cost to our obedient service for the LORD. But God keeps good records. In spite of the darkness, we are not without hope, nor are we abandoned to the trash bin of history.   There is hope in returning; He still is faithful even when we have been unfaithful. It is never too late to do the right thing. As we call out unto Him, the clouds of despair give way to the light of hope.

“O, God, Our father, You are still seated upon the throne. We thank you that you remind us that with You are better days. Therefore, we place our hope and trust in you. Turn us in order that we may return to You. Give us a revival in the midst of our bondage. In Your Great Name. Amen”.

 

© Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be published free of charge, provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. All correspondence may be addressed to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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PURSUING THE PURSUER

A few years I had gone to see a movie  that had really been taunted to be a great new film.  Upon arriving at the theatre and finding my seat assignment,  I settled in to my chair. I watched and waded through all the adds showing the “up and coming” new movies.  Finally, the feature film began to play.  But it wasn’t long before I realized that I really was not into the movie that I had so eagerly anticipated.  I decided to slip out and see what else was playing that I might watch.  Stepping into a show that had begun, I found myself caught up in the action and drama of the movie.  The lead character was an Asian detective sent from his country to investigate some mysterious deaths of his fellow agents.  It wasn’t long before he realized that there was corruption in the foreign police force at the highest level, which was the cause of their death.  And now,  he was eye-witness to this high level of violence and corruption and not willing “to go along”, he became an immediate target for elimination.  But something unexpected happened…As he was being chased (and had no where to hide from attempts on his life)the storyline flipped.  Suddenly, he who had been pursued became the pursuer of those who were after him!  And when the pursued became the pursuer what an amazing and different outcome to the story.

Pursued or Pursuing?

I believe there is a message in all this for we who have stepped across the threshold of a New Year.   While others may be trying to figure out, “What new goals and resolutions do I want to make (And for most, break)?  And realized that we are the object of pursuit and start pursuing the One who is pursuing us.   Namely, God.   We can either play “Hide and Seek” or declare like David, “O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; My soul thirst for You in a dry and weary land where there is no water.  So I have look for You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and glory”(Psalm 63:1-2 NKJV).

God had initiated the chase but He was waiting for the one being pursued to be caught up in His pursuit.  It is what Tommy Tenney called “The God Chasers”.  God is waiting for those with a heart like David respond and turn His chase after them to no longer run after their dreams but to pursue God for His dreams.   The outcome will not only be better but bring peace and satisfaction like nothing ever known.  The secret of the LORD is with those who run after Him with reverence and awe, He will make known His secrets. “God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him”(Hebrews 11:6).    He is hiding in open sight, waiting to be chased until He is found.

(C) Copyright 2016, Walter Fletcher Jr.  All rights reserved.  This article may br copied and shared free of charge, provided that it is not altered or sold.  Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com