“And Jeremiah said, ‘The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, ‘Buy my field which is in Anathoth, for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.’” Then Hanamel my uncle's son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said to me, “Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption yours; buy it for yourself.” Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord’” (Jeremiah 32:6-8).
Many of us remember the 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” in which Kevin Costner starred as a farmer who decides to build a baseball field on his farm. One of the familiar lines in the movie is “If you build it he will come.” He builds the baseball field, not only do a number of former baseball players appear, but also so does the farmer’s father who appears to him as a young man.
As the opening verses above describe, God tells Jeremiah to buy his “field of dreams”. Jeremiah’s cousin comes to Jeremiah encouraging him to buy Jeremiah’s uncle’s field. According to the rights of inheritance, Jeremiah was given the opportunity to purchase it (Jeremiah 32:6-7).
However, on the surface, one would question if it made any sense for Jeremiah to do so. At the time when Jeremiah learns of this right of his to inherit and redeem this field, Jeremiah has been locked up in prison by king Zedekiah for speaking God’s Word regarding the upcoming destruction of Judah and Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:1-5). Why should Jeremiah buy a field when he did not even know if he would ever be released from prison to enjoy it? Furthermore, as Jeremiah looked outside his prison window he could see the siege mounds the Babylonians were building in order to conquer the city of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 32:24). Why should Jeremiah buy a field in the land of Israel, when the Babylonians were about to conquer all the land? Under such circumstances it would appear if Jeremiah purchased this land, there would be no way he would ever enjoy its fruits? Although Jeremiah buys the land as God has instructed him and stores the deed in safe keeping, (Jeremiah 32:9-15), he struggles with doubts as to why God has told him to do all of this (Jeremiah 32:16-25).
However, God assures Jeremiah that, even though everything at the moment seems hopeless as the Babylonians are about to conquer the land, following 70 years of captivity God will bring His people back to the land and there will be great rejoicing: “For thus says the Lord: 'Just as I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will bring on them all the good that I have promised them. And fields will be bought in this land of which you say, “It is desolate, without man or beast; it has been given into the hand of the Chaldeans.” Men will buy fields for money, sign deeds and seal them, and take witnesses, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, in the cities of Judah, in the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South; for I will cause their captives to return,' says the Lord” (Jeremiah 32:42-44).
As I read this great chapter in the book of Jeremiah, I am greatly comforted as I see how God assures Jeremiah of the hope Jeremiah has placed in Him. In faith, Jeremiah obeys God even though many would think he was foolish to do so as the Babylonians are about to conquer the land and Jeremiah himself is locked up in prison. Today, I will strive to live by faith in God as I look forward to enjoying my “field of dreams”, my heavenly home with God!
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13).