Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; all unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:2-3)
One of the frequent challenges Christians face is the problem of time. Human perspective is usually limited to the understanding we gain during our lifetimes, with an occasional increased awareness from the study of history. Our confidence rests in the fact that the Lord is “Alpha and Omega” and that He knows the end from the beginning, but our prayers and our faith are sorely tested when the answers to the “desires of our heart” are delayed.
Jeremiah is often referred to as “the weeping prophet,” primarily because he composed the epic poem Lamentations found in the Old Testament. Jeremiah had been called by God to prophesy to a king and to a nation the fact that God was about to punish them severely for their apostasy—and as far as we can tell, no one in authority ever listened to him.
In fact, King Zedekiah of Judah had thrown Jeremiah into prison and chained him up because the king did not like (or believe) the prophecy that the Lord had directly dictated to Jeremiah about the coming war with and subsequent captivity by Nebuchadnezzar.
But the Lord had future plans for Judah. So, God told Jeremiah (while he was still in prison) to purchase a piece of land there from his uncle’s son, Hanameel, because God was going to restore Judah (Jeremiah 32:6-12). Hanameel got all the paperwork together, brought the “evidences” to the prison along with the necessary witnesses, and the deal was struck.
Jeremiah, knowing full well that Judah was going to be sacked and burned by a ruthless army, nonetheless believed the Lord’s promise and spent his own money for a piece of property that “everybody” would have said was foolish to buy under the obvious circumstances that the nation was about to go under.
Those were the conditions under which Jeremiah understood the promise of God: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Had Jeremiah been like most of us, he would have begged for freedom from prison, or the healing of his nation, or the salvation of his jailers. But God had given him the promise that Judah would be punished and God would restore the nation—go buy some property for the future!
It is really easy for us to miss God’s “long view.” We get depressed by economic recessions or caught up in the political unbelief of the world’s behavior, and then we miss out on the opportunities of God’s direction and plans for the future.
Our Heavenly Father has plans for you and for me, for our churches—and yes, for the Institute for Creation Research. The general orders are to “occupy” until the Lord returns (Luke 19:13). All of us need to take the “long view.”
That surely means trying to prepare for the next generation. That surely means to “seek the kingdom” above all other priorities. That surely means that our time, our energy, our plans, and, yes, our resources need to be focused on eternal values rather than the short-term circumstances of a short life on a dying earth.
May God give us the vision of the “things which are not seen” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2011. The Long View. Acts & Facts. 40 (1): 22.