Jeremiah 32:1-44 – Is Anything Too Hard for God?
SummaryGod's question as to whether anything is too hard for him is probably to be answered in the negative. God cannot move into the future without first going through judgment.
AnalysisJeremiah 32 focuses on land as a sign of God's restoration of Israel's fortunes, symbolized by Jeremiah's purchase of a field (32:1-15). This text is set just before the fall of Jerusalem, one of the darkest moments in Israel's history. Into this situation a word of promise is announced regarding Israel's future. This is not, however, a word regarding deliverance from the Babylonian siege of the city, only deliverance on the far side of destruction and exile.
In the wake of the land purchase, Jeremiah offers a prayer of puzzlement regarding what God was about (32:16-25). Jeremiah's statement that nothing is too hard for God (32:17) is, in effect, a question. The divine move signaled by the land purchase appears to mean that Israel would not have to go through the announced devastation; can that really be the case at this stage of things?
Jeremiah 32:26-44 constitutes God's response to Jeremiah's prayer. God's essential point is to clarify for Jeremiah the coming sequence of events. He restates Jeremiah's point about nothing being too hard for God in question form (32:27). It is likely that the answer to God's question is "Yes!" One approach to the current situation in Israel is in fact impossible for God. God is not able to take a shortcut into the promised future and bypass the judgment (as many Israelites hoped that God would do). Jeremiah 32:28-44 constitutes the divine argument for this impossibility. Salvation there will be, but that future is possible only through judgment.