Impressions from the Word- Jeremiah 42 and 43

Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the LORD your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.’” (42.5-6)

This needs to be an element of all of our requests. Obviously there is a desired answer when we come to God, but our end purpose should be in “obey[ing] the voice of the Lord,” regardless of what his will reveals. So much of our submission is feigned, so rarely do I find myself perfectly submitted to any response by God. Instead I develop my own man-made provisions and go to God asking for his blessing over them. And even when he withholds that blessing I find myself doing it anyway and just asking for forgiveness. This is no way to serve God.

If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down.” (42.10a)

What does this say to our isolationist Christian subculture? God has placed us here, in this society, under this government, and he had his reasons to do so. Yet Christian consensus today seems to be screaming its discontent with our circumstance and so moving away, out of society, in order to be “safe.” We avoid things that we judge to be wrong, denying interaction, resisting infiltration. We appear to know the right way better than God and seek our own means of correcting the flawed places he put us in. We withdraw into our fortress, safe from R-rated movies, public schools, and single parents. We know utopia. We can make it and we can go there. Still all along it must be that God knew what he was doing and in denying that, we are denying him and his good intentions for our lives.

If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I will bring upon them.” (42.15b-17)

We find that choosing to flee and escape where God intended for you to be in hardships will not preserve us. God promises that the evil which we fled in Jerusalem will follow us to Egypt and get us there, even though we expected to be safe.

‘You are telling a lie.’” (43.2b)

The world is quick to reject what it doesn’t like.  So is the Church.  It is important to develop a will which does not bear up with pride whenever our world view or comforts are challenged by the command of God.  Just last chapter we saw the Israelites say they would heed God’s word through Jeremiah, whether good or bad (42.5-6), yet when it’s bad they decide to fight against it.  As Christians we need to analyze our reaction every time we feel ourselves disturbed by a teaching in order to make if it is the Spirit which unsettles us or our own sin-dwelt flesh.

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