Jeremiah 42: Then …all the people from the least to the greatest, approached 2 the prophet Jeremiah and said, “Be good enough to listen to our plea, and pray to the Lord your God for us—for all this remnant. For there are only a few of us left out of many, as your eyes can see. 3 Let the Lord your God show us where we should go and what we should do.” 4 The prophet Jeremiah said to them, “Very well: I am going to pray to the Lord your God as you request, and whatever the Lord answers you I will tell you; I will keep nothing back from you.” 5 They in their turn said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to everything that the Lord your God sends us through you. 6 Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, in order that it may go well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”
God’s people were taken captive and sent to Babylon – with only a small number of the very poorest of Judah remaining in their homeland. Here they petition the prophet Jeremiah to seek wisdom from the Lord as to what to do next. Many of these remaining people were afraid they would evantually be killed or taken prisoner as had so many others. They were tempted to flee to Egypt for protection – but first, they sought a word from the Lord. So, what did the Lord say?
The Lord told the people not to flee, but to stay in their homeland. God would care for them, protect them, and prosper them. Sounds like good news right? What did the people do?
They fled to Egypt anyway.
They were afraid Jeremiah was setting a trap for them to stick around and get them all killed as they feared. Made sense to them to flee to Egypt, despite a direct word from the Lord not to go. They left – and died. Before you and I get on our high horses, we should ask ourselves some key questions:
Where am I willfully disobeying God? It’s not that I don’t know any better, but I sin anyway. Where is that happening in my life?Where in my life am I leaning on my own wisdom rather that the counsel of God? Do I trust the Lord with my finances via a tithe of 10% to the Lord? Or do I tell myself I cannot afford to trust God this way? Do I take a Sabbath rest each week as God commands, or do I basically work seven days a week? Do I take time each day to seek the Lord in scripture and prayer – or am I just too busy for that?
You get the idea.
Heavenly Father, human beings are stubborn people. Give us grace to pursue your path, not ours. For in choosing your path, we will find life. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.