Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: Hanamel son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’
“Then, just as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the guard and said, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Since it is your right to redeem it and possess it, buy it for yourself.’
“I knew that this was the word of the Lord; so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver. I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy— and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.
“In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions: ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last a long time. For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’
- Jeremiah 32:6-15
The entire 32nd chapter of Jeremiah pertains to buying the field. You can see that Jeremiah is using Baruch to carry out God’s instructions. Jeremiah is incarcerated. This time he is confined to the courtyard of the guard for the palace. That way, Zedekiah can control Jeremiah’s movements and keep an eye on him. Thus, Baruch has to do the legwork.
As with the vision of good and bad figs, this quest is a quest of hope. Jeremiah would eventually go to Egypt (Jeremiah 43:7), but he still had a deed inside a jar so that the copies of the deed would last a long time.
Some people say that the only sure things in this world are death and taxes. That’s rather cynical. I would like add God’s Love along with the other two. Land ownership is definitely not a guarantee.
When my wife and I moved to South Carolina after I got out of the Army, we bought a house. We have been strapped for cash ever since. When we moved to a new job, the house wouldn’t sell. God had given me guidance that the area where I lived would be devastated by job loss. I found a new job, but too late to sell the house. Thousands of people were losing everything and any newcomers to the area could get bigger houses in nicer neighborhoods at rock bottom prices. We reduced our asking price more than once.
Since then, we haven’t owned. We have always rented. If you own your home, consider yourself blessed.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. There may again be a time of security when houses and fields and vineyards will be bought. Until then, we must trust in the Lord. He alone is sufficient.