Day 43: Jeremiah 42: 1-22
“Remnant of Judah, the Lord has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the Lord your God and said, ‘Pray to the Lord our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it. I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the Lord your God in all he sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle” (Jeremiah 42: 19-22, NIV).
Have you ever had someone ask you what they needed to do to make things right with you but then they do the opposite? That’s pretty much what the people did with Jeremiah; they asked him what did God want them to do and they even said that they would obey (v.6). When Jeremiah spoke what God told them to do they disobeyed and chose to go to Egypt anyways. In looking at the situation it appeared to them that staying where they were would not be good for them because of the reputation of the king of Babylon and they likely had fear that he would do them harm. In contrast it appeared that if they went to Egypt that they would be safe and would have food and so they went with the option that appeared to be the best for them even though God had told them otherwise. It’s easy to try to figure out things for ourselves and try to make sense of what is best for ourselves but the truth is we’re really not capable of figuring out our life on our own. We need God to lead and guide us but we have to be willing to accept the direction that He gives us even if it doesn’t appear to be the best initially. What we really have to understand is that God does not mean us harm; that doesn’t mean He won’t put us in uncomfortable situations but even in those times He still has plans to prosper us and build us up. He tells them “If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I have relented concerning the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land (Jeremiah 42:10-12, NIV). The bottom line is you don’t have to understand God’s instruction, all you have to do is trust Him and obey Him.