The Second Surprise (Just A Minute #126)

Andy Bonikowsky
Written by Andy Bonikowsky

Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name;Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:1-3)

In the previous chapter Jeremiah had received his first surprise.

As a prisoner in Zedekiah’s courtyard, God had interrupted his puzzled thoughts. Unsure about exactly how the Babylonian siege would play out, and perhaps wondering about his own safety, he was probably asking the Lord for direction. Whatever his request, most likely he had not expected the message he got.

God told him to buy property from a relative who was about to visit him!

Now that was really strange.

First, he could not leave to check out his purchase; and second, the whole nation was under siege by the massive Chaldean army. What a bad time to buy land! Yet the Lord’s promise was worded in such a way that there could be no lingering questions. He told him exactly who would come, what the person would want to sell, and why he was approaching Jeremiah to begin with.

Of course, it all happened exactly as foretold. Cousin Hanamel showed up for a visit, asking Jeremiah to buy his Anathoth property, since he was the closest relative.

Jeremiah had obeyed the Lord’s instructions, and stayed put. He had no choice. He was in prison.

Then came this second surprise, in which God spoke again with a fresh challenge. It was very different and far more glorious than the previous one.

He wasn’t told to go anywhere or do anything physical, but simply call on the Lord. If he did, he would be greatly rewarded.

The Lord now wanted to do much greater things than before. He had an infinite store of glory to display, and His faithful spokesman had been chosen to help make it happen.

This was an invitation of divine proportions! This was bigger than anything the prophet had ever heard before. It was an offer straight from Jehovah; to try Him, to see what He could do, and to be shocked by the surprises He would deliver. God was eager to show His power to His people. The menace of the huge Chaldean army was nothing in comparison to a promise like this!

Over two thousand years have gone by and nothing has changed.

God still loves to surprise His children.

Promises like this one are scattered throughout the Bible with the obvious purpose of extending the privilege to every child of God in every age. Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, David, Daniel, the disciples, to highlight a few, called on God and He surprised them beyond their dreams. Whether in a tent, in a sheepfold, in a prison, or at a winepress, His invitation was the same: Call out to Him and expect great things.

Have you ever seriously accepted this challenge?

I think often we are too busy and disinterested. Our flesh and the cheap attractions of the world have distracted us, with the horrible result of robbing us of God’s surprises. Ironically, we never know what we have missed.

Dear Father, You have not changed. You still surprise every child who calls on You. I want to call on You. I want to see Your glory. Please surprise me, Lord. Amen.