Archive for October 23rd, 2013

Jeremiah 42

Jeremiah 42 has the prophet being sought out by the remnant that remained after Ishmael came and killed most of them seeking God’s direction.  The rescuer Johanan and other commanders, and all the people come to Jeremiah and ask him to pray and seek God about their future.  “We are left with but a few….that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do”.  They want to hear God’s direction for their future.  Certainly the path they have been on has led them to almost total destruction, so they are now seeking God’s plan.

Jeremiah agrees and tells them “I will keep nothing back from you”.  He takes their request to God with the understanding that he is seeking God’s direction “that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God”.  So Jeremiah goes to God, and seeks His face.  A response didn’t come immediately. Scripture tells us “at the end of ten days” God gives Jeremiah the plan.  “If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you”.  Pretty simple – stay put and put down roots.  Don’t go anywhere – just live here with me.

That likely put a bit of fear into the people, as they’ve had quite a rocky period being almost wiped off the face of the earth by enemies.  Who will protect them from those who may want to continue the destruction?  God addresses that too.  “Do not fear….I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand”.  God never asks us to do anything He hasn’t orchestrated completely and covered off on all the details.  When He asks them to stay put, He also promises their safety.  But God knows the heart of these people is to get back to Egypt where they believe they will at least be safe and under the protection of someone.

So His answer goes further, and God gives Jeremiah the other side of the equation.  He’s told the remnant of what they are to do – stay put and grow back their people.  But now Jeremiah gives them the other side.  “But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land….then the sword that you fear shall overtake you”.  It isn’t just a recommendation from God.  This is a life and death choice.  Stay and be well, leave and go elsewhere and perish.  It shouldn’t be a difficult decision.  And to make it even clearer God says “O remnant of Judah, ‘do not go to Egypt’”.  It is a clear as it can get.  What choice will they make?

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