Mar 19, 2017

Devotion for 19 March - Good Days Ahead!

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin for today -- we continue a Lenten sermon series on Dr. Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation. This is Luther’s attempt to show what was wrong with the church in his time. We use an Old Testament text today to demonstrate a message of hope. Luther said this about the book of Jeremiah:” along with this [the punishment foretold because of vice and idolatry] Jeremiah gives comfort and promises that after the punishment is over, they shall be released and shall return to their land”. Part of today’s commentary comes from an idea in the LSB, pp 1202.
OT Reading- Jeremiah 32:6-15 English Standard Version (ESV)
6 Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: 7 Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth, for the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ 8 Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in the court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. 9 “And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. 11 Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy. 12 And I gave the deed of purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in the court of the guard. 13 I charged Baruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for a long time. 15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.
Devotion: Good days ahead!
Jeremiah is in jail, primarily for preaching that the Chaldeans would take over the land [a treasonous message] because the citizens of Judah were to be punished by God for their evil ways. He is also preaching, though, that eventually they will get back their land and, in a very comforting message, they will experience eternal salvation.  Jeremiah is being asked to “put his money where his mouth is” by buying up land that is already in possession of the Chaldeans.  Jeremiah’s symbolic gesture [buying the farm!] demonstrates his belief in good days ahead in the land and certain hope for eternal salvation. God had told him this hopeful prophesy offering a bright spot in a book [Jeremiah, 52 chapters] largely full of judgment, frustration, punishment, and suffering. Chapters 31-33 are sometimes aptly referred to as the “book of comfort”.

We pray: “Thank you, risen Lord, for our salvation. Amen”