Jeremiah buys a field. (1-15) The prophet's prayer. (16-25) God declares that he will give up his people, but promises to restore them. (26-44)
Verses 1-15 Jeremiah, being in prison for his prophecy, purchased a piece of ground. This was to signify, that though Jerusalem was besieged, and the whole country likely to be laid waste, yet the time would come, when houses, and fields, and vineyards, should be again possessed. It concerns ministers to make it appear that they believe what they preach to others. And it is good to manage even our worldly affairs in faith; to do common business with reference to the providence and promise of God.
Verses 16-25 Jeremiah adores the Lord and his infinite perfections. When at any time we are perplexed about the methods of Providence, it is good for us to look to first principles. Let us consider that God is the fountain of all being, power, and life; that with him no difficulty is such as cannot be overcome; that he is a God of boundless mercy; that he is a God of strict justice; and that he directs every thing for the best. Jeremiah owns that God was righteous in causing evil to come upon them. Whatever trouble we are in, personal or public, we may comfort ourselves that the Lord sees it, and knows how to remedy it. We must not dispute God's will, but we may seek to know what it means.
Verses 26-44 God's answer discovers the purposes of his wrath against that generation of the Jews, and the purposes of his grace concerning future generations. It is sin, and nothing else, that ruins them. The restoration of Judah and Jerusalem is promised. This people were now at length brought to despair. But God gives hope of mercy which he had in store for them hereafter. Doubtless the promises are sure to all believers. God will own them for his, and he will prove himself theirs. He will give them a heart to fear him. All true Christians shall have a disposition to mutual love. Though they may have different views about lesser things, they shall all be one in the great things of God; in their views of the evil of sin, and the low estate of fallen man, the way of salvation through the Saviour, the nature of true holiness, the vanity of the world, and the importance of eternal things. Whom God loves, he loves to the end. We have no reason to distrust God's faithfulness and constancy, but only our own hearts. He will settle them again in Canaan. These promises shall surely be performed. Jeremiah's purchase was the pledge of many a purchase that should be made after the captivity; and those inheritances are but faint resemblances of the possessions in the heavenly Canaan, which are kept for all who have God's fear in their hearts, and do not depart from him. Let us then bear up under our trials, assured we shall obtain all the good he has promised us.
This chapter contains an account of Jeremiah's imprisonment, and the cause of it; of his buying a field of his uncle's son, and the design of it; of his prayer to God, and of the answer returned to him. The time of his imprisonment, the place where, and the reasons of it, are observed in Jer 32:1-5; that his uncle's son would come and offer the sale of a field to him was told him by the Lord, which he did accordingly, Jer 32:6,7; of whom he bought the field, paid the money, had the purchase confirmed in a legal way, before witnesses, Jer 32:8-12; and the writings of it he committed to Baruch, to put in an earthen vessel, where they were to continue some time as a pledge of houses, fields, and vineyards, being possessed again after the captivity, Jer 32:13-15; then follows a prayer of his to the Lord, in which he addresses him as the Maker of all things; as the Lord God omnipotent; as a God of great grace and mercy, as well as strict justice; as a God of wisdom, counsel, and might, and an omniscient and righteous Being, Jer 32:16-19; and recounts the wonderful things he had done for the people of Israel, Jer 32:20-22; and observes the ingratitude and disobedience of that people, which were the cause of the present siege of the city, which should surely be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans, Jer 32:23-25; to which prayer an answer is returned, Jer 32:26; in which the Lord describes himself as the God of all flesh, and as able to do what he pleases, Jer 32:27; and confirms the delivery of the city of Jerusalem unto the Chaldeans, Jer 32:28,29; and assigns the causes of it, the backslidings, disobedience, and dreadful idolatry of the people, Jer 32:30-35; and, notwithstanding, promises a restoration of them to their own land again, Jer 32:36,37; when an opportunity is taken to insert the covenant of grace, and the special articles and peculiar promises of it, for the comfort of the spiritual Israel of God, whether Jews or Gentiles, Jer 32:38-40; and the chapter is concluded with a fresh assurance of the return of the captivity, and of the punctual performance of the promise of it; when fields should be bought in every part of the land, in like manner as Jeremiah had bought his, Jer 32:41-44.