What Does Jeremiah 32:17 Mean?

'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

Jeremiah 32:17(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Jeremiah is often known as 'the weeping prophet', for not only did he weep as he witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of the Temple of God by the Babylonians, but he had to endure drought, imprisonment, emotional trauma, and he was even forbidden by the Lord to get married. Jeremiah's entire, prophetic ministry to Israel fell on deaf ears, as he warned them of the severe judgements to come if they did not repent of their apostate ways and return to the Lord their God. Nevertheless, Jeremiah knew the Lord and trusted His Word.

Throughout his life, this man of God had to endure the sneers and derision of the people to whom he was sent. False prophets continued to rebuke him, as he faithfully warned of the fast-approaching judgement and destruction of God's people and their land if they refused to repent of their sin. Despite being ridiculed and rejected, Jeremiah was given some beautiful and encouraging prophecies that God would one day make a New Covenant with His people, Israel, through the Messiah Who was to come. He wrote of the restoration of God's people to the land of Israel, the beautiful promise that He would write His laws on their hearts, and that one day, they would know the Lord directly, in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ, the beloved Son of God.

Jeremiah is a man that was well known for his desperate lamentations as his prophecies to Israel were utterly rebuffed by people and leaders alike, but throughout his life, we catch some amazing glimpses of hope. For instance, in chapter 32, while the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem and Jeremiah had been imprisoned in the guard’s courtyard in the palace of the king of Judah, the Lord instructed his servant to pay a handsome price to purchase a field as his inheritance in the war-torn land of Israel. Jeremiah obeyed the Lord's instructions, even though he did not understand the reason.

Jeremiah was instructed to keep careful records of his purchase agreement. He was told to keep both a sealed copy and an open copy of his land-purchase. They were to be placed inside an earthen storage jar so that they would last a long time, and be a witness that God would one day bring back His scattered people to the land of their fathers. Through this act, the Lord showed both Jeremiah and the people to whom he was prophesying, that a day would come when the apostate nation of Israel would be brought back to the land that God had promised to their forefathers and that the land that was lying desolate (the land that had become a perpetual hissing to every one that passed by) would one day be revived and become like the Garden of Eden.

As Church-age believers, we are blessed to have the whole counsel of God in the completed canon of Scriptures, which continues to open our understanding to God's eternal plans and purposes. Plans for His people, Israel, for the land He promised to Abraham, for the world He created, and for those of us who are His Church-age children. But men of God like Jeremiah, who prophesied of many future events, were often ignorant of the meaning of their predictions, and soon after he purchased the land as the Lord had instructed him, he prayed for understanding: "Oh, Lord God! You Yourself made the heavens and earth by Your great power and with Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You!"

Jeremiah declared that God was the almighty, omnipotent Lord of hosts Who shows lovingkindness to generations. Jeremiah acknowledged that the Lord was the great and mighty God: "Great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men." In his prayer, he reflected on the never-failing goodness of God towards his wayward people. He remembered the mighty signs and wonders carried out in the land of Egypt and when He brought His people into the land flowing with milk and honey, as promised hundred of years earlier. He bewailed the calamity that had befallen his people because of their foolish rebellion against the Lord their God. Having spent his life warning Israel to repent of their apostasy and return to the Lord, Jeremiah prayed to the Lord to give him understanding. He wanted to understand why the Lord had said to him, "Buy for yourself the field with money and call in witnesses," even through the city was being given into the hand of the Chaldeans.

Before his prayer, Jeremiah confessed that nothing is too difficult for the Lord Who made the heavens and earth by His power and might, and God in His grace encouraged His servant by saying, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" Then the Lord explained how Israel's rebellion against Him had to be punished and that Jerusalem would be given into the hand of the Chaldeans. He gave Jeremiah some understanding of the captivity and dispersion of Israel during the fast-approaching 'times of the Gentiles'. But despite being reminded of the coming sword, famine, and pestilence about which Jeremiah had been prophesying so faithfully, the Lord also revealed that He will not always be angry with His people, but will fulfil His plans and purposes through them, as He promised from the beginning.

Jeremiah is a wonderful example of a man who maintained a lifelong trust in God, despite facing incredible hardships and held in derision by the people to whom he was sent. He was a prophet of God who spoke the truth, yet throughout his life, his words of warning were ridiculed. He lived among a generation that totally abandoned God's Law. He lived among people who called evil good, and good evil; who turned darkness into light, and light into darkness; who turned bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter. He lived among a generation of Jews that would be catapulted headlong into a terrible time of tribulation, because they refused to listen to the truth of God's Word. But despite all his trials, Jeremiah maintained his trust in God and never forgot that it was the Lord God Who made the heavens and the earth by His great power and by His outstretched arm. Jeremiah knew that despite the coming time of trouble for Israel, God will one day fulfil His promises to His people. Nothing is too difficult for the Lord.

Like Jeremiah, we too live among a generation that calls evil good, and good evil. The Word of the Lord is rejected and ridiculed on all sides, and soon a day is coming when the world in which we live will be catapulted into a time of Great Tribulation (the Time of Jacob's Trouble), when God's wrath will be poured out on a world that has rejected the Truth and refused God's saving grace through faith in Christ. But like Jeremiah, we must remain faithful to our calling during our sojourn on earth. We are to stand firm in these evil days and hold fast to the truth. We are to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, even when we do not understand what is happening in this fallen world and why we have to endure these evil days. We are to follow Jeremiah's example and hold fast to that which is good, looking to Jesus as we stand on the promises of God. 

Jeremiah was a good and faithful servant in the ministry to which he was called. May we also remain good and faithful servants in the work that God has given us to do. May we delight in the Lord our God, and rejoice that He is the God and Father of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who made the heavens and the earth by His mighty power and outstretched arm. Let us rejoice that we have been saved by grace through faith in Him and that NOTHING, absolutely nothing is too difficult for Him.

My Prayer

 Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You. Praise Your holy name, AMEN.

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