“And I bought the field at Anathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and weighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, got witnesses, and weighed the money on scales. Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy. 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. I charged Baruch in their presence, saying, ‘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. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.’” Jeremiah 32:9-15 ESV
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!
Surely a man goes about as a shadow!
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:4-7 ESV
Corrie ten Boom and her father and her sister Betsie lived in Holland. Her father was a watchmaker who fixed watches and clocks, and Corrie helped him, while Betsie kept house for them. But they had a very dangerous secret. World War II was raging in Europe, Holland was occupied by the Nazis, and Jewish people were in terrible danger. Corrie and her family hid Jewish people in their home and helped them get to safety. One day their home was raided by Gestapo agents, and while the people they were sheltering were able to hide in a secret room in their house, Father, Betsie, and Corrie were arrested and taken away. As the police were taking them away from their home, Father paused to wind one of his favorite clocks. “We mustn’t let the clock run down,” he said. Father would die in prison, and never come back to his shop, but he wound his clock because he had hope that God would bring the terrible times to an end and that a peaceful life would return to his home and his country.
Jeremiah might never see his country and the city of Jerusalem restored, and he might never farm the land that he had just bought from his cousin. But God had given him the hope and the promise that someday houses and fields and vineyards would be sold again in the promised land, and that God’s people would come home and start a new life there. To show that hope in God’s promise, the Lord told Jeremiah to take the papers that showed he now owned his cousin’s field, and put them in a clay jar where they would last for a long time. Someday someone would find the papers and know that God had kept his promises to his people.
We also sometimes have to wait in hope that God will keep his promises to us, and our waiting might last for a long time. God’s people waited for many, many years for the promised Savior before God sent Jesus to die for us so that our sins could be forgiven and we could come back to our Heavenly Father. Now we are waiting for Jesus to return in glory to take us all home to his heavenly kingdom. Sometimes it’s hard to wait for God’s good promises to come true, and sometimes life on this earth seems very hard and sad. But the Lord is with us always to help us and to give us hope that nothing will separate us from his love, and that all of his promises to us will come true in the end.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all your wonderful promises. Please give us hope and patience to wait on your perfect time for them to come true. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Ten Boom, Corrie The Hiding Place Washington Depot, Connecticut: Chosen Books, 1971.