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Jeremiah 32:6-15 1
6 Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: 7 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.’ 8 “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; 9 so I bought the field at Anathoth from my cousin Hanamel and weighed out for him seventeen shekels of silver. 10 I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. 11 I took the deed of purchase—the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy— 12 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. 13 “In their presence I gave Baruch these instructions: 14 ‘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. 15 For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land.’

moneytreeBackground 2

In this chapter we have:

  1. Jeremiah imprisoned for foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem and the captivity of king Zedekiah (v. 1-5).
  2. We have him buying land, by divine appointment, as an assurance that in due time a happy end should be put to the present troubles (v. 6-15).
  3. We have his prayer, which he offered up to God upon that occasion (v. 16-25).
  4. We have a message which God thereupon entrusted him to deliver to the people.
    1. He must foretell the utter destruction of Judah and Jerusalem for their sins (v. 26-35). But,
    2. At the same time, he must assure them that, though the destruction was total, it should not be final, but that at length their posterity should recover the peaceable possession of their own land (v. 36-44).

The predictions of this chapter, both threats and promises, are much the same with what we have already seen before, again and again, but here are some circumstances that are very particular and remarkable.

Biblical Truths and Theology 3

Verses 6-8 The law said that, in certain circumstances, a close relative could buy land. That meant that the family would continue to own the land (Leviticus 25:25). Hanamel decided to sell his field. Perhaps he wanted money rather than land that the enemy would take. So he persuaded Jeremiah that he should buy the land. Hanamel used the words ‘your right’ as Jeremiah was his nearest relative. Hanamel may have tried to sell it to other relatives. But probably they were not willing to buy it in those dangerous times. The LORD had warned Jeremiah that Hanamel would arrive with that demand.

Verses 9-12 The field belonged to Jeremiah after the usual legal custom at that time. People did not use coins as money. Instead, people weighed silver or gold to pay for things. Abraham weighed out 400 silver pieces for land in which to bury his family (Genesis 23:16). Jeremiah weighed out 17 pieces of silver to pay for his cousin’s field. With witnesses, he signed the legal record of his purchase. He gave the two copies to his secretary Baruch. They closed one copy and they left open the other copy.

Verses 13-15 Jeremiah told Baruch to put the two copies into a clay jar. It was a usual custom to put records in jars. That meant that the records would last a long time. After the exile, the records would prove who was the owner. Jeremiah believed that the LORD would renew the nation one day. Then normal business would begin again. People would be able to buy houses, fields and land on which to grow grapes. Jeremiah’s purchase of the field showed that he believed the LORD.

Items for Discussion

  • Did you ever invest in something that looked like a high risk? Please share your experiences and why you felt comfortable with taking that risk.
  • The roots of ownership of land go deep and run way back in history. Do you think that our society today is missing something when such a large percentage rent? What is it and are there any risks to society?
  • Why do you think that Hanamel wanted to sell his land?
  • What were the risks to Jeremiah if he bought it?
  • How did Jeremiah reconcile those risks?
  • What was the purpose of Jeremiah’s request to archive proof of the transaction?
  • Is there a comparable purpose in today’s society and, if so, is it as important today as it was in Jeremiah’s time? Why or why not?

1 Timothy 6:17-19
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Background 4

The book of Acts ends with the apostle Paul in prison in Rome. That was about AD 60 and he was there for two years. It seems that after that he was free for a time. The Apostle Paul is the author of this letter.

After he came out of prison, he asked Timothy to stay in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3). He then went to Macedonia. While he was there, he wrote this first letter to Timothy. We do not know whether Paul visited Ephesus at this time.

Timothy was the son of a Gentile father and a Jewish mother. His mother, Eunice, and grandmother, Lois, both believed the gospel of Christ (2 Timothy 1:5). They and Timothy probably became Christians when Paul first went to the town called Lystra (Acts 14). All the Christians in Lystra and in the church in the town called Iconium spoke well about Timothy.

When Paul came the second time to Lystra, he asked Timothy to join his team (Acts 16:1-3). Timothy became a close friend and helper of Paul. He went with Paul as he travelled to many places. Paul spoke about him as his own son in the faith.

Now he was the leader of the church in Ephesus. Paul writes this letter to him to encourage him in the task of leading that church. He gives Timothy a lot of advice both for the Christians in the church and for himself. There were some problems there, with some people who were teaching wrong things. Paul told Timothy to sort out that problem (1 Timothy 1:3). He must stop these people from doing it. Paul tells Timothy how to select the elders and deacons. He writes about the roles of men and women. He speaks about the care of widows. He tells Timothy how slaves ought to serve. He speaks to the rich persons. And he warns them about the dangers that come with wealth. He tells Timothy how he should take care of himself. And he tells him how to be a good leader.

Biblical Truths and Theology

Verse 17 There is a danger for those who are rich. The danger is to think that they are better than other people. They may have more wealth and a higher rank in this world. But that does not make them better persons. Such rich persons should not be proud because of what they possess.

They must not depend on what they own. All that they have could vanish in a very short time. They cannot be certain that they will always be rich. When they die, these riches will have no value for them. They will go to someone else. All the money in the world cannot buy life after death. It is foolish to trust in riches for this life and for the future life.

Instead, they should trust in God. He is rich because he owns all things. And all things belong to him. God is great and he is generous to us. He gives to us all that we need for this life. The blessings of God are true riches. He blesses us so that we can enjoy his life. That means the life that He gives.

Verse 18 Rich persons are responsible to God for how they use their wealth. The more they have the greater their duty to use it to do what is good. So, Timothy should tell those who are rich that they should use their resources. Rather than to be rich in money, they should do many good works. This is how to have real riches.

Rich persons have more than enough for their own needs. There is no benefit to them in owning an excess of wealth. They should be generous. And they should share what they have. They should use their wealth for the benefit of those who are in need of their help.

Verse 19 They should share what they have. In that way, they will bless those whom they help. But, as they give help to other people, they will benefit as well. By doing good works the rich Christians will reduce their wealth on earth. But they will be building up riches for the future life. These riches will then be like a firm foundation for them. The Lord Jesus said that we should not store up riches on earth. But rather we should store up riches in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20). The purpose of this is so that they can grasp hold of the life to come. That life is the true life that will have no end.

Items for Discussion

  • How does Paul define who is rich?
  • Is the danger today due to wealth, the same as it was in Paul’s day? Why or why not?
  • How does wealth become a danger?
  • How do you know if you are using your wealth, as Paul defines it, for the benefit of God’s kingdom?
  • So if you are asked by God to share your resources, how do you pick and choose whom to share them with?

Discussion Challenge

  • How does the church help its members come to reconcile their needs, the needs of the world and the needs of the church?
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