Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 15:11
Bible Book: Jeremiah / Jeremia
Chapter: 32
Verse: 1 – 15
Text: Jeremiah 32:1-3a; 6-15

The year was 587 before Christ. Later, during that same year, the exile of the people of Judah would start. Already they were surrounded by their enemies, and even the prophet Jeremiah had been placed under house arrest. He was being accused of continuously bringing a pessimistic message to the people and even prophesying that King Zedekiah would be taken as prisoner to Babylon.

Jeremiah did not bring a false pessimistic message. He was able to evaluate the reality facing the people of Judah and he was preparing them for what was about to happen. Zedekiah and others, however, did not want to acknowledge the facts. In the times in which we are living today, many people also do not seem willing to face reality. With HIV and AIDS rampant all around us, many people are still denying the facts. Like Zedekiah they also tend to get angry when people warn them about what is happening, how people are ruining their own lives and the lives of those they love and how thousands of people are dying on a daily basis due to this disease. We need to open our ears to this warning.

However, there is a remarkable message of hope in this passage. Hanamel, Jeremiah’s cousin, came to him with an offer to buy his field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. As Jeremiah was already under house arrest and the exile of the people of Judah was inevitable, it made absolutely no sense for him to buy this field. Yet Jeremiah did exactly this. After the sale had been finalised, he gave the deed of purchase to Baruch with these words, “Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so that they will last a long time. For this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Houses, fields and vineyards will again be bought in this land” (14-15).

The message is clear: The people of Judah will not remain in exile forever. There will come a time when they will return to their country and will live in freedom once again.

It is easy to become pessimistic in the midst of current world conditions. To see the stark reality of the effects of HIV and AIDS can easily lead to a feeling of pessimism. But we can have hope that this is not the end of the road. Even if it feels as if we have reached the end of the road, we know that God has not yet run out of ideas. Therefore we can look forward with hope that the time will come when HIV and AIDS will no longer be a threat to us.
To think about (or discuss):
1. What can we do to help people to acknowledge the reality of HIV and AIDS?
2. How can we hope for the future in spite of the reality that faces us?

Author: A van Wyngaard (Dr)
Language: English