Week Forty-Three: Jeremiah 30–33; 36; Lamentations 1; 3
Usually, when someone buys a piece a property, the person is doing it as an investment hoping that the land will be worth more in a few years, or the person is buying it as a legacy for future generations hoping that the property will bless his family, or the person is buying it to build a new home, hoping to enjoy it now. Buying a piece of property is a symbol of hope that the land will be useful in the future to oneself and one’s family.
Jeremiah had been prophesying to the people of Judah that they would soon be captured by the Babylonians and be carried away from their lands. Zedekiah was so tired of Jeremiah’s prophesying that he finally threw him into jail to stop him from telling these woeful and dire predictions about the Kingdom of Judah. Zedekiah did not believe the prophet and decided to shut him up.
“For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut [Jeremiah] up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the King of Babylon, and he shall take it;”[i]
In spite of these predictions, Jeremiah was inspired by the Lord to buy some land from Hanameel, his uncle’s son, with 17 shekels of silver. The Lord told him to take the legal deed and title of the land and put them in an earthen vessel, because they will be there for a long time.
Why would Jeremiah buy land when he knew what was about to transpire in the Kingdom of Judah?
Well, Jeremiah bought the land as a symbol of his hope in the return of Israel. He knew they would come back to the land originally given them by the Lord. The Lord told Jeremiah: “Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land.”[ii]
Jeremiah knew of the covenant that the Lord made to Israel. Even though Israel would be scattered soon, later, Israel would be gathered and restored to the lands of their inheritance. Jeremiah was buying the land as a legacy for his future children. Jeremiah was spending his time and money to prepare a place for his future posterity to live in Israel.
This story can be analogous to our own sojourn here on earth. We, too, are cast into the world or Babylon, away from the Kingdom of our Father. Are we preparing to return to our mansions above by laying the foundation for that inheritance here and now?
Jesus Christ has promised us: “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”[iii]
How do we spending our money and time in preparing for this future legacy?
President Eyring said, “The Lord has given us the gift or inheritance of time. He invites and encourages us to spend it wisely. It’s worth investing wisely, not only because we have a lifetime ahead of us but also because we have eternity to come. I pray that we might all have the desire to wisely invest our inheritance of time.[iv]
The future salvation of our family is bought now, not later. If we wait until after this life, we have squandered our precious gift of time.
Amulek taught: “[T]his life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors….[F]or after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness where in there can be no labor performed.”[v]
The Prophet Jeremiah went through many trials trying to get Israel to repent. He was thrown into a pit, thrown into jail, taken prisoner, and led away from his beloved Jerusalem, and finally died in captivity. Yet, he never gave up his hope in Israel. He knew that Israel would return.
In many ways, our mission is similar to the Prophet Jeremiah. We are also told by the Lord to gather Israel. We may also encounter difficulties, just like Jeremiah. Pres. Nelson reminded us that we are the hope of Israel as we gather the children of Israel throughout the world and help them return to the God of Israel. Pres. Nelson told us: “I believe if you could remember who you said you would help while you are here on earth, or what anguishing experiences you agreed to go through, that whatever really tough situation you are presently in – or will be in – you would say, ‘O, now I remember. Now I understand. This difficult situation makes sense to me now. With the Lord’s help I can do this!’… This is His Church, restored to accomplish its divine destiny, including the promised gathering of Israel.”[vi]
We have the hope of the Second Coming of our Savior and His return as the God of Israel.
May we find joy in the Lord this week as we strive to gather Israel in whatever corner of His Kingdom we are living.
[i] Jeremiah 32:3
[ii] Jeremiah 32:15
[iii] John 14:2-3
[iv] Henry B. Eyring, “Time-an Inheritance from God,” Ensign, August 1989.
[v] Alma 34:32-33
[vi] Russell M. Nelson, “Hope of Israel,”