Jeremiah 43

Jeremiah 43 is such a predictable outcome after Jeremiah finishes giving the remnant of Judah God’s direction for their future.  Jeremiah was asked to seek God for His will, and it was to stay put and put down roots and grow the nation right where they were.  The words were hardly out of his mouth when the leaders came to him and said “you are telling a lie”.  Isn’t that how it goes when we hear something we don’t want to hear.  We accuse the messenger rather than deal with the truth.

These very men were the ones who pleaded with Jeremiah to seek God for His direction.  But they had a desired outcome.  They already had a plan in place for what they wanted to do and how they were going to do it.  Now that Jeremiah has told them something completely different, obedience is no longer something they are interested in.  “Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to remain in the land of Judah”.  They were on a mission to do things there way, even if it is directly against what God has told them to do.

Remember that God specifically told Jeremiah to say “do not go to Egypt”.  And guess where these guys are planning to take the people, and in fact do take them?  To Egypt.  God knew their hearts before they even asked what His plan was for Judah.  He knew they intended to take the people there because they believed they would be safe there.  But the truth is that God’s plan has Egypt being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.  So God has Jeremiah hide a few large stones in “the mortar in the pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace” so God’s prophecy could come true and the people would know that what Jeremiah has said is truth.

God is going to destroy more of His people as a result of this disobedience.  And Egypt is going to pay a price too.  “I shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive”.  God is going to “clean the land of Egypt”.  He is on a mission to put things in their rightful place which means pestilence, captivity and death by the sword.  It isn’t going to be a very pretty place to be.  Disobedience always carries a significant price.  But the people of Judah take disobedience to a different level as they completely disregard God’s command to stay put and go to Egypt following the desire of their leaders over those of God.

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