Buy Dirt in the New Jerusalem
Who buys real estate in a land already conquered by the enemy? Foolish.
But that’s what the prophet Jeremiah did. In Jeremiah 32, the Lord tells Jeremiah that his uncle is coming to sell him land. (By the way, what does this say about the uncle—he’s doing Jeremiah no favors by selling land already trod upon by the enemy!) In any event, the Lord tells Jeremiah to buy the land.
So Jeremiah does. And he makes quite a show of it. He counts out 17 shekels of silver. He has the purchase witnessed by a crowd of elders. He wants the purchase to be official. Now consider the wonder of these officials! What kind of fool would buy land that’s already in enemy hands! What expectation could Jeremiah have of ever using the land?
On the other hand, Jeremiah had long prophesied that while Jerusalem would be overtaken by Babylon, he had also prophesied that Jerusalem would be restored. And one day, the Lord promised that “houses and fields would again bloom.”
This passage from Jeremiah is both historical fact and a promise. In fact, Israel did return to occupy their promised land. In the bigger scheme, it seems to me that the Lord is telling us to take our earthly treasure—our shekels of silver—and to invest in the new and coming Jerusalem. Indeed, invest in the coming city that cannot fail and that gleams in the midst of the destruction.