-Johanan and all the commanders and all the remnant people, both small and great, approached Jeremiah for a word from the LORD at a time of decision. They initially seemed very sincere in their willingness to receive what God would say as they looked for direction in an anxious time as whether to stay in the land and potentially incur the wrath of the Chaldeans or flee for the perceived safety of Egypt. As Jeremiah said he would indeed go to the LORD and tell them the entire message he received, these are their words, “May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with the whole message with which the LORD your God will send to us. Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will listen to the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, so that it may go well with us when we listen to the voice of the LORD our God (Jeremiah 42:1-6).”
-At the end of ten days, God spoke to Jeremiah and the prophet relayed His message to the commanders, Johanan, and all the people both small and great. God told them that if they would stay in the land He would build them up again and not tear them down anymore. He promised to plant them and not uproot them. He told them NOT to fear the king of Babylon for He would protect them, deliver them, save them, and show them compassion and restoration. But, on the other hand, if they decided to flee down to Egypt and not stay in the land where God had placed them, they would experience the wrath of God in succumbing to the sword, famine, and pestilence as they reentered Egypt, the land of their former captivity (Exodus). He guaranteed that if they went back they would receive His just anger and wrath becoming a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation (curse, execration, or swearword), and a reproach resulting in no survivors or refugees with no opportunity of seeing the Promised Land again. What God was saying was that Egypt was a false sense of peace and that they should remain in the land where He would bless them despite the appearances of that reality. He was teaching them how to live by faith if they would only trust Him (Jeremiah 42:7-18). Therefore, they were commanded NOT to go into Egypt for God had testified against them if they did (Jeremiah 42:19). Sadly, the foreshadowing reality in the text by Jeremiah is that they were deceiving themselves in a delusion that they would not actually submit to the intercession and prayer on their behalf. Jeremiah, in his discernment, knew that they would disobey the words of the LORD and that the coming disaster was immanent (Jeremiah 42:20-22). *Application* God’s ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). Do we really want to know His opinion and direction on the matters of our lives, or are we too headstrong to obey when He gives us a clear word? God has our best interest at heart if we will submit and obey His plan for our lives, no matter how difficult the path appears from our perspective.
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 42:6