ARE YOU RECEIVING ME?
Ponder how one can be content in any situation. Pray for your mind to be molded to be like that.
Read Jeremiah 43:1–13
43 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”
4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6 They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them. 7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lord and went as far as Tahpanhes.
8 In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 9 “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword. 12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd picks his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart. 13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“When all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy” (Heb. 10:34, NLT).
How receptive are you to God’s Word? There are times when “the Word of the Lord” runs counter to our common sense and even seems to threaten our well-being (3). A posture of arrogance (2) sets us up as the arbiters of truth. We may not shout “liar” at the preacher, but when we deny forgiveness to those who hurt us, fail to love the irritating, or refuse to say “sorry,” it is much the same thing. That refusal to listen has huge consequences for leaders and followers alike (5). It has consequences for Jeremiah, who is dragged into the disobedience of going to Egypt (7). He has no choice in his location, but he can choose the inclination of his heart. And that is towards God (8).
In Egypt, Jeremiah performs a prophetic act. He declares God’s intention to use his “servant” Nebuchadnezzar to shatter Egyptian power and with it his own people. The people who should have been the remnant to start God’s reseeding of the land lie defeated in Egypt. The restoration will have to wait for people who will listen to God. A people remaining faithful, “even though it meant terrible suffering” (Heb. 10:32, NLT).
Is there a portion of the Word that you have been avoiding? Allow God’s truth to do its necessary work in your heart today.
God, give me Your power to live by Your truth.