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The Foundation of Anticipation: Buying a Field of Hope

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-12-10 (수) 00:28 조회 : 1126
Rev._Jang\'s_Sermon_on_November_30,_2014.pdf (162.0K), Down : 3, 2014-12-10 00:28:56
설교일 : 2014.12.07.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Jeremiah 32:6-15

December 7, 2014

 

“The Foundation of Anticipation: Buying a Field of Hope”

Jeremiah 32:6-15

 

Rev. Chan Young Jang’s Sermon at KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

1.

Today is the second Sunday of the Advent season this year. Last Sunday’s sermon was about ‘the Blessing of Anticipation’ and today we want to meditate on ‘the Foundation of Anticipation: Buying a Field of Hope’.

 

During the World War II, Chaplain James MacDonald was captured by the Nazis and was put into a prison camp along with many soldiers. He later testified that as their confinement dragged on, the soldiers were having a very difficult time inside of the camp, like committing suicides, trying to escape foolishly and getting caught, stealing and picking fights with other prisoners. Then, one soldier put together a radio and secretly listened to the British national broadcasting station, BBC. He found out one early morning that the Allied Forces had successfully landed in Normandy. He woke up Chaplain MacDonald with this wonderful news, and soon the news was spread throughout the camp secretly. Afterwards, the morale for the prisoners was up and with meaningful glances they were high-fiving each other when passing. They were no longer fearful of the Nazis and not complaining of any hard labor. The reason was that they had the ‘hope’ of winning the war and getting released from the camp soon.

 

Even when the situation is not as serious as their imprisonment, we can become very happy with anticipation when we have the ‘hope’. When I was in Seminary, I used to go to the Sam Lip factory in Ahn-San to conduct a monthly worship service for the staff there. Afterwards I was given a stipend for transportation expense which I used to buy some books. One day, instead of the usual stipend, I was given a large amount of Lotto tickets which could be scratched with a coin. I was really excited about the prospect of winning a big money, but had to wait until I arrived at my school. First, I went to chapel to pray for winning, and then in my dormitory room, I began to scratch each piece with ‘great hope’. Well, the outcome was not what I had hoped, but I still remember my hopeful excitement at that time.

 

The next time I experienced the same lottery hope was when I began to serve at my first church in a small village in Kyung Sang Do. This first male deacon in that church was a farmer and also working in a quarry. He would bring in lottery tickets every Sunday before the service and asked me to bless them. As he had promised to donate the winnings to church, I sincerely prayed for a winning ticket holding his hands with ‘hope’. Despite our fervent prayers, no winning ticket was ever produced, and eventually our fever got diminished, and now I am thankful for that.

 

All of us go on living with some hopes and dreams everyday. This morning, I want you to ask yourself: ‘What are my hopes for today?’

 

 

2.

Today’s Bible passage is about a man of God who lived his life holding on to the hope and anticipation. His name was Jeremiah, and it had two contradicting meanings: One is ‘God exalts’ and the other is ‘God abandons’. What a person with this interesting name can do is to choose to live with the hopeful meaning.

 

During Jeremiah’s lifetime, there was no hope for the people of Israel. Like the other meaning of his name, God had abandoned Israel like casting a die. Jerusalem, the capital of Judah kingdom, was besieged by the Babylonian forces. In the midst of this situation Jeremiah was prophesying the coming destruction of Jerusalem, and was imprisoned in the courtyard of the guards by King Zedekiah’s order. While in confinement, his nephew came to see Jeremiah, and requested him to buy his field.

 

What would you do in this situation? Most of us would worry about how to survive in this catastrophe and hope to sell any fields to have some ready cash. But, Jeremiah who had predicted the ruin of Jerusalem bought the field as God had told him to do.

 

What was his reason to buy the field at this point of time? What good would it do to him? Why is God trying to tell the Jews by this action of Jeremiah? What was the foundation for hope and anticipation that Jeremiah had? I want to discuss 3 reasons that he had.

 

1) First, Jeremiah had his foundation of hope built on the ‘word of God’ that had come to him.

 

Jeremiah 32:7  “Hanamel, son of Shallum your uncle is going to come to you and say, ‘Buy my field at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin, because as nearest relative it is your right and duty to buy it.’

 

Now, did he discuss with anybody whether he should buy it or not? Certainly nobody would have recommended him to buy it, and he didn’t talk to anyone and just obeyed God’s words.

 

Jeremiah 32:8b  “I knew(realized) that this was the word of the LORD.”

 

He knew that even if the Jews were going to be taken to Babylon as prisoners, it was not to be the end. He knew also that God would restore Jerusalem to the Jewish people in the future.

 

How did he know? The Hebrew word for knowing is ‘YADA’ and this word is used when you know because of long experience. Here Jeremiah was saying that he had always listened to God’s words and learned to discern the real meanings.

 

He didn’t pay attention to the naysayers, and had the ultimate conviction about the future, so he went ahead and bought the field with ‘hope’. He believed in God’s promise so he had the patience to wait continuously. His hope was founded on God’s words.

 

Luke 1:38  And Mary said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.” Then the angel left her. Mary’s hope was founded on God’s words also.

 

My beloved congregation, I urge you to ‘buy the field’, ‘the field of God’s words’.

 

2) Second, Jeremiah founded his ‘hope’ on the ‘community’.

 

Lord Jesus said to us this. Matthew 6:31-33 “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

 

Here he is telling us that our purpose in life should not be only to eat, drink or wear clothes as these cause us to worry. Instead, we should seek ‘the kingdom of God and the righteousness to govern the kingdom’, as these are the most important goals for us.

 

If your foundation of anticipation, the purchase of the field of hope, began with God’s words, now your hope has to be expanded to become your community’s hope. The most tragic life is the selfish, self-centered life. The faith begins within the individual, but ultimately the faith has to grow with the community. Why does it have to expand to the community? The answer is simple. That was the way our Lord Jesus lived.

 

The reason why Jeremiah bought the field, being fully aware of the possibility of throwing his money away in light of coming destruction, was for the community. He made the sacrifice so that his people would be challenged to trust God in the future.

 

Jeremiah 32:10-12  “I signed and sealed the deed, had it witnessed, and weighed out the silver on the scales. I took the deed of purchase - the sealed copy containing the terms and conditions, as well as the unsealed copy - and I gave this deed to Baruch son of Neriah, the son of Manseiah, in the presence of my cousin Hanamel and of the witnesses who had signed the deed and of all the Jews sitting in the courtyard of the guard.”

 

According to the custom at that time, when someone bought a field, 2 documents were prepared; 1 sealed and 1 unsealed. The reason for unsealing the document was for all the people to witness the document. So, Jeremiah allowed the deed to be shown to all in the courtyard.

 

He wanted to inform his people who were utterly despondent at that time that God was not going to desert them. He urged them to depend on God and have ‘hope for the restoration of the community’.

 

As you well know, individuals and community have very intertwined relationship. If you have grown exotic fish in an aquarium, you would know how important it is to keep the aquarium clean everyday. No matter how expensive and beautiful the fish is, it perishes very easily when the aquarium is not well maintained. On the other hand, if the aquarium is kept clean, the fish can recover and become healthy. It is the same with any church. If the church environment is unhealthy, the individuals will get sick. If the church environment is very healthy, the sick and wounded will recover their health.

 

The importance of any community cannot be over emphasized. Healthy community will produce healthy individuals. A loyal person comes from a loyal family and a dutiful son comes from a dutiful family. My beloved congregation, I urge you to buy ‘the field’, ‘the field for community’, and be prepared to accept the financial loss for the good of the community. Be more attentive to your responsibilities rather than to your demands, and more willing to sacrifice than to claiming your rights. Our faith grows when we serve others. Please pray for our community fervently.

 

3) Third,Jeremiah founded his hope on ‘the next generation’.

 

In 1991, there was a hit movie called ‘JFK’ starring Kevin Costner, and it was about the investigation of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. The young prosecutor was threatened to lose his life if he didn’t stop the investigation. His defiant declaration was this; “If I stop the investigation now, then the injustice will win. Then, from now on lawlessness and unrighteousness will rule this country. I cannot allow my children to inherit that kind of country.” He decided to risk his life and go on fighting for the justice and keeping the dream alive in behalf of future generations.

 

Jeremiah lived in the last period of a Jewish kingdom. He couldn’t stop the inevitable destruction, and foresaw that his countrymen would face nothing but suffering and sorrows as prisoners of war. But he wanted the future generation to inherit his faith for God. He wanted them to remember God’s love and providence for His people and trust God to restore them back to their homeland.

 

Let us go back to today’s Bible passage. Jeremiah gave these instructions to Baruch.

 

Jeremiah 32:14  “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Take these documents, both the sealed and unsealed copies of the deed of purchase, and put them in a clay jar so they will last along time.”

 

He believed that after 70 years of exile, the descendants would return to Jerusalem and look at the deed of purchase in a clay jar. The future generation would be shocked to find out that their ancestors had believed in their returning home, proven by the purchase document.

 

Jeremiah hoped that even though his generation would certainly face the destruction by foreign forces, his descendants would have better future and never have to face the same fate. What would you wish for your descendants? What do you want them to inherit?

 

Ever since I became the senior pastor of this church more than a year ago, I have been praying to God for a new educational facility for our children that can be also used by the community and our senior citizens. This building will mean more than just extra space for us, as it will be a showcase of our hope for the future generation. Perhaps we can carve this statement on the keystone.

 

“Dear children, we hope you will be happy here. We, the older generation, had arrived in this country with few belongings, with inadequate English, but formed this community of our faith. We worked hard to build this church so that you can freely roam and enjoy the space. We want you to keep your spirits up, have confidence in yourself, and go for your dreams, as you are raised and educated here in this country. But one thing we want you to remember, and that is your ancestors have kept their faith in their new homeland, and we hope you will, too.”

 

Please buy the field of hope, the future generation’s field of faith! God will take care of our children and our descendants.

 

 

4.

We are early in the Advent season, anticipating the birth of our Christ. But the whole world is going through a temporary madness in December. Are they hoping and waiting anxiously for Christ? Or are they seeking for some satisfaction of their own desires? If baby Jesus ever comes back to earth, we wonder if he may still have to be accommodated in a manger in the stable, instead of a nice hotel.

 

What are your hopes and dreams today? I want to wish you the blessing of ‘buying the field of God’s words’ for your community, and for the future generations.

 

Let us sing the hymn, “Maranatha, our Lord, come to us soon!” [이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2014-12-12 04:20:41 읽는말씀에서 이동 됨]

   

총 게시물 636건, 최근 0 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
156 2015.01.11.  Do your best to touch our Lord’s heart! Mark 2:1~12 Rev. Woo
155 2015.01.04.  Godliness, an Invitation to the Holy Life 1 Timothy 4:7~8 Rev. Jang
154 2015.01.04.  경건, 그 거룩한 삶에로의 초대 디모데전서 4:6~11 장찬영 목사
153 2014.12.31.  오직 나와 내 집은/For me and my household 여호수아(Joshua ) 24:14~18 장찬영 목사 (Rev Jang)
152 2014.12.28.  Beautiful Knots Galatians 3:1~7 Rev. Jang
151 2014.12.28.  아름다운 매듭 갈라디아서 3:1~7 장찬영 목사
150 2014.12.21.  May It Be as God Wishes Luke 1:26~38 Rev. Jang
149 2014.12.21.  말씀대로 이루어지이다 누가복음 1:26~38 장찬영 목사
148 2014.12.14.  What to do while waiting: Share your field of hope Acts 2:43~47 Rev. Jang
147 2014.12.14.  기다림 속에서 해야 할 일: 희망의 밭을 나누라 사도행전 2:43~47 장찬영 목사
146 2014.12.07.  The Foundation of Anticipation: Buying a Field of Hope Jeremiah 32:6-15 Rev. Jang
145 2014.12.07.  기다림의 근거: 희망의 밭을 사라 예레미야 32:6~15 장찬영 목사
144 2014.11.30.  The Blessing of Anticipating the Arrival of Christ Luke 2:22~38 Rev. Jang
143 2014.11.30.  기다림의 축복 누가복음 2:22~38 장찬영 목사
142 2014.11.23.  Remember our Almighty God! Micah 6:1~5 Rev. Jang
처음  이전  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  다음  맨끝

제목 : The work of God
설교일 : 2020.02.16
본문말씀 : 1 Samuel 3:10-21
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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