Royalty and Ruin


Not All Was Lost!

Through His prophets Jeremiah in Jerusalem, Daniel in Babylon, and Ezekiel on the banks of the Chebar, the Lord in mercy made clear His eternal purpose. What He had said He would do for those who proved true to Him, He would surely bring to pass. RR 166.1

In the wilderness wandering the Lord had made abundant provision for His children to remember His law. After they settled in Canaan, the people were to repeat the divine instructions daily in every home. They were to set these things to music. Priests were to teach them, and the rulers were to make them their daily study. The Lord commanded Joshua concerning the book of the law: “Do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8. RR 166.2

If they had put this counsel into practice through the centuries that followed, how different Israel’s history would have been! It was regard for the law that gave Israel strength during the reign of David and the earlier years of Solomon’s rule. Through faith in the living word, the nation experienced reformation in the days of Elijah and Josiah. In Jeremiah’s efforts toward reform, he appealed to these same Scriptures, Israel’s richest heritage. He met the people with the plea, “Hear the words of this covenant.” Jeremiah 11:2. RR 166.3

As the armies of the Chaldeans came for the last time to surround Jerusalem, hope fled from every heart. But God did not leave the faithful remnant in the city to hopeless despair. Even while Jeremiah was under close watch in prison, fresh revelations came to him concerning Heaven’s willingness to forgive and to save. RR 166.4

By an acted parable, Jeremiah illustrated to the inhabitants of the doomed city his faith that God would ultimately fulfill His purpose for His people. In the presence of witnesses, he purchased an ancestral field in the neighboring village of Anathoth. From every human point of view this purchase of land already under Babylonian control appeared foolish. The prophet himself had been predicting the destruction of Jerusalem and a long period of captivity in Babylon. Already advanced in years, he could never hope to receive benefit from the purchase he had made. RR 166.5

However, he had a firm conviction that the Lord intended to restore the Land of Promise to the children of the captivity. With the eye of faith Jeremiah saw the exiles returning and reoccupying the land of their fathers. Through the purchase of the Anathoth property he would inspire others with the hope that brought comfort to his own heart. RR 167.1

Having signed the deeds of transfer and secured the signatures of witnesses, Jeremiah instructed Baruch his secretary, “Take these deeds, ... and put them in an earthenware jar, in order that they may last for a long time. For thus says the Lord of hosts ...: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.” Jeremiah 32:14, 15, NRSV. RR 167.2