"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me? Jeremiah 32:27
THE opening verse of this chapter records that it was the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah in Jerusalem and it was also the eighteenth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. It was the fateful year of the destruction of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem al1 was uncertainty. The markets had improved at one time as there seemed a likelihood that the Egyptians would deliver Jerusalem, but the help of Egypt was vain! Consequently as the duplicity of Zedekiah was discovered by Nebuchadnezzar, that powerful monarch sent a force to besiege the city. Mounds were built up so that the invaders could overlook the walls. Inside the city Jeremiah was declaring that the only way of escape was by surrender, but the same arrogant spirit that made them refuse to obey God prevented their adopting the line of prudence and salvation, and in consequence the market values of everything were tottering to zero. Jeremiah was in prison but his cousin, Hanameel, came to him indicating he had a piece of land for sale and the right of purchase was with Jeremiah. But who wanted to buy land in Jerusalem when it might be that tomorrow, if not earlier, the enemy would be swooping in to obliterate all personal interests and indeed to slaughter the whole community? Certainly solid silver would be the best form of wealth and this Hanameel felt, was a more portable commodity than a plot of land. So to his poor, deluded, over-religious relative in the dungeon as the price of his piety, he came to offer him the land for purchase. Already the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah of this impending visit and its objective so that Jeremiah was ready and forthwith bought a Plot of land that in all the circumstances was then of very little value. The deal was completed. Hanameel was entirely satisfied and his one concern was how he might be able to escape if the city fell, and in some other place put his shekels to good use.
The transaction had a somewhat different effect upon Jeremiah, for he had expended what may have been a not unimportant part of his resources exchanging liquid assets for immovable values and this at a time of grave crisis. That humanity common to us all cannot escape the influence of such things. Jeremiah therefore found himself on his knees in prayer to God declaring to Jehovah "There is nothing too hard for Thee." It may be he had a revived hope that even now God would step in to deliver the city and so this investment would be justified, for he had bought a property that, if the city were taken, would be worthless. The prayer was ended very much as all our prayers are ended in crises, in that strange bewilderment of faith and unbelief, as everything remains precisely as it was before we prayed. By some means however, which some may or may not understand Jehovah spoke to Jeremiah declaring Himself in our text "The God of all flesh," and asking Jeremiah the question which was the echo of his own assertion in prayer: " Is there anything too hard for Me?" Experienced believers will understand Jeremiah in the confident affirmation there is nothing too hard for the Lord, a confidence uttered in prayer and then the subsequent question as it comes from the Lord: "Is there anything too hard for Me?" It seemed so substantial as we prayed, it appears to be different as the question somehow emerges out of our being spoken and echoed by God Himself.
What God has to say to Jeremiah is important. Hanameel appears in Scripture in this chapter and he disappears in like manner in this chapter. How he fared in the destruction of Jerusalem we do not know, of what value his shekels were is all hidden from us. God had no recorded word for him but He did assure Jeremiah that one day all the full market values of property in Jerusalem would be restored. They are to be gathered from all countries whither Jehovah for their sins has driven them: " They shall be My people and I will be their God." They shall dwell safely and they shall not depart from Jehovah. Clearly that has not yet happened and we may with confidence, anticipate its fulfilment in the future. But for our purpose we note that God speaks a word of confident hope to Jeremiah stretching far into the future from that year 590 B.C., asserting that market values will be restored, and long after Nebuchadnezzar's body lies entombed the God of all flesh will be pursuing His unshakeable purpose amongst men. That catastrophic hour in which Jeremiah found himself was to be understood in the context of an omnipotent purpose, the achievement of which depended upon the inexhaustible energies of Jehovah.
Now this title: "The God of all flesh" is interesting and illuminating. It is, in its precise terms, unique in the Scriptures. We have elsewhere: "The God of the spirits of all flesh, " which has some correspondence in the words used but not in the thought revealed. Why does God declare Himself to Jeremiah as the God of all flesh? In Genesis 6, verse 3, you have Jehovah exclaiming: "My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh." That word "strive" would be better translated, as you may have it in the margin, by the word " abide." God's Spirit could not dwell in flesh. The flesh is weak, the flesh is temporal, people who are governed by the flesh cannot please God. The God of all flesh is therefore for the believer, the God Who is the complete answer to all human circumstance and frailty, the God Whose ends and purposes are entirely untouched or imperilled by human conditions. With Him there is nothing too hard or wonderful. God is a Spirit Whose powers, energies and abilities are independent of every calculation of circumstance or flesh. That is to say the revelation Jehovah was making to Jeremiah was precisely the revelation Jeremiah in prison needed. For a city doomed to be ravaged and slaughtered there was no hope. But Jeremiah with his shekels gone and a useless piece of land his responsibility, was challenged by the God of all flesh with Whom nothing is too hard or wonderful. Sooner or later this title must have a meaning for each one of us as it had for Jeremiah, We come to
This great prophet was in pitiable conditions. He was almost deserted, he was in prison, the city was ready to be taken and the greatest catastrophe his people had known since they came out of Egypt was about to submerge them. In such a situation he needed some apt revelation of God. It maybe we shall see London as Jeremiah saw Jerusalem! I trust not but who shall say? If not in some other way we shall see, or indeed we may already have seen something in correspondence with Jeremiah's circumstances. Bereavement will bring you there, illness, adversity as circumstances seem to rear themselves up against the believer and seem to shatter a feeble faith to its foundations. Very few indeed have ever been able to learn perfectly to accept with complete composure every circumstance and situation as permitted by God. None of us knows what peculiar sensations may arise when we know that the last circumstance of death is environing us and all the values of time and sense are tottering. But of this we may be sure the God of all flesh, in all the ample revelation of Jesus Christ will be then our sure support. But not only our circumstances but there may be
In the life of every one of us come moments when morale is low, when the most obvious fact to us is our unutterable insufficiency, weakness, and helplessness. It is not only that things without are threatening but somehow within there is instability and insecurity: "the flesh is weak." While hearts are bold and strong, great moments of destiny can be faced courageously and maybe conquered, but when for the doing of something great we discover, alas, the utter frailty of our flesh then indeed we come to zero. And sometimes these occasions are very near those moments when perhaps under the spur of a great desperation we have affirmed our faith in God and sincerely believed that there is nothing too hard for Him. Can there be anything more strengthening than to know, when faith has found its battlefield within, in the complete devastation of our stability and we are helpless, hopeless victims, that He is the God of all flesh. He understands, He ministers, He sustains when both our circumstances without and our feelings within are at zero. The experience in such circumstances brings us to the emphasis of the text. In the realm of the flesh to which we, by nature, belong both in our circumstances and in ourselves, there are experiences baffling and ultimately devastating. While we are by grace the children of God endowed with the Divine nature, yet we must in this present evil world know from time to time and at (what we call) the last the utter insufficiency within, yet He is the God Whose grace is particularly designed to meet such issues.
for the God of all flesh. As you read these chapters you will see what God has in prospect for Israel. Listen to verse 42: " Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them." Indeed the prospects of this chapter and the next are exhilarating. The truth is that our God of all flesh has an ultimate answer to our circumstances and our souls, upon which we may most certainly rely. From time to time we may have to say goodbye to loved ones but one day we ourselves will be conscious of the hour of dissolution, and find we know not what in our circumstances and ourselves. At that great moment of dissolution we may be sure that God of all flesh will enlighten us with the prospect of all that it is in His will and power to achieve on our behalf: for the answer of God to the worst that can happen, is the priceless boon of a universe upon which we have not yet looked, of a body of immortality in which we have not yet lived and of the sight of a Saviour whose face we are yet to see.
There is nothing too hard for the Lord!
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