Pastor Payne used a sermon entitled “A Buyer’s Market” from Jer 32:1-4 to give a realistic picture of the spiritual climate. His opening illustration was worth repeating. A father left his son in the car as he paid for gas. When he got back to the car his son asked him what sex meant. He used his adult skills to avoid dealing with a subject that was to mature for this young boy. Finally, he asked him “Who told you a word like that” The response “you did” What! “You said wait here and I’ll be back in a few secs.”
He listed out some revivals from the past and then came to Jeremiah who was being called by God to pronounce the judgment of God upon Judea. They were surrounded and besieged for 18 months and Jeremiah’s advise was to surrender. He found himself in prison. Even as we believe God for awakenings like those that preceded the Revolutionary War and the Civil War we have to process what is going on around us and function as a pastor. Jeremiah had to minister to people during terrible times.
The siege is about to end and there will be an exile of 70 years and Jeremiah is asked to redeem a relative’s piece of property. In the face of total defeat and exile he buys this property and prophesizes its value and use in the future.
The point is that “we are called in our generation to take land in an occupied territory”. The land is polluted and under the sway of the wicked one and we are called to personal sacrifice to buy this land in enemy territory. God is bigger than politics. God is saying: “I am busy redeeming people and you need to buy into this. We are being called to buy into a message that is being rejected all around us – this must be done or our ministry is finished. We must be willing to pay the price for the stands we make.
He rehearses some of the great purchases in history talking of the reward that goes to those that take the risk. It looks like the gospel is a bad deal but for those who take the gospel into occupied territory there will be great rewards.