Jeremiah 32:42 For thus saith the LORD; 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. 43 And fields shall be bought in this land, whereof ye say, It is desolate without man or beast; it is given into the hand of the Chaldeans. 44 Men shall buy fields for money, and subscribe evidences, and seal them, and take witnesses in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, and in the cities of the mountains, and in the cities of the valley, and in the cities of the south: for I will cause their captivity to return, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah 32 is an under appreciated chapter. While the Babylonians besiege Jerusalem and while Jeremiah rots in prison, God instructs him to purchase his uncle’s plot of land. To the world this would seem folly because once the Babylonians subdue Jerusalem none of the Jewish property deeds would be worth the papyrus they were written on, and Jeremiah knows all of this. Indeed, he is imprisoned, because he has prophesied that the Babylonians are about the conquer and subjugate the Jews, but in obedience he purchases the land anyway. At the end of the chapter (Jeremiah 32:44) God promises to restore the Jews to the Promised Land, but that is going to take seventy years, and most people are not willing to wait seventy years for a return on their investment. This is the definition of faith. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
Jeremiah 32 is also an illustration of civilization. What separates civilization from barbarism is delayed gratification in order to receive a larger blessing down the road. In the spring and in the sweat of their face, men plough ground and plant crops in order that they might receive a bounty in the fall. Harvesting a bounty and keeping it in storehouses allows man to pursue other activities other than hunting and gathering food, but there is a great deal of work up front, and there is no guarantee of bountiful harvest. That is the principle of investing, civilization, and faith.