Jeremiah’s Unusual Purchases

by Jonathan Spurlock
(Holts Summit, MO)

Introduction: Jeremiah delivered some of the last messages God ever gave to the nation of Judah, the southern kingdom. God also told him to make at least three unusual purchases which also gave object lessons to the nation. The first was a linen waistband, the second was a jar of clay, and the third was a plot of ground, interestingly owned by his own cousin! Even though the purchases themselves didn’t last, the lessons did, and we have the privilege of seeing what Jeremiah did so many years ago.

Each of these points could be expanded into separate messages (a series?).

I Purchase 1, the linen waistband (girdle, King James Version KJV)
Text: Jeremiah 13:1-11
A It was purchased (price isn’t given. Where did Jeremiah get the money to buy one of these?)
B It was put to use (he wore it, like any other waistband or “girdle” of those days)
C It was placed in a strange location (going to the Euphrates would be a long journey)
D It was in a pitiful condition: ruined, utterly worthless!
E It was an object lesson twice:
1 The ones who would refuse to repent would be just as worthless as the ruined waistband
2 The nation would one day be bound to God just as the waistband was bound to Jeremiah

II Purchase 2, a jar of clay (earthen vessel, KJV)
Text: Jeremiah 19:1-15
A He bought the jar from a potter
B He brought the jar and some leaders down to probably the worst place in Jerusalem
C He broke the jar and preached God’s message to the listeners

III Purchase 3, an occupied field
Text: Jeremiah 32:6-15
A The revelation (God told Jeremiah that his cousin, Hanameel, would be coming by)
B The request (please buy my field)
C The remittance (Jeremiah gave him 17 shekels of silver. Where did he get them?)
D The ridiculousness (the enemy—the Babylonians—were already occupying the area around Jerusalem! Who wants to buy land in enemy territory?)
E The reminder (God promised that one day houses and fields would one day be again bought and sold in the land)/

Conclusion: all these were object lessons for the nation of Judah, in perhaps the last few months or years of freedom before they were taken away as captives. Clearly, they didn’t heed the messages that God gave them by means of Jeremiah.

We can look back, even though these lessons aren’t necessarily for us to follow, and be assured that our Lord keeps every promise He has ever made.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

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