Jeremiah 41: Don’t take rumors for granted, privately work on them.

In this chapter, we see what Gedaliah had considered as a rumor coming true. Ishmael had served long in Judah army even during Zedekiah’s times. He must have been a descendant of King David through Elishama( 2Sam 5:16, Jere 41:1) and thus a loyal family member who, according to himself, deserved kingship too. Also, the fact that the Ammonite country had been part of the deal to disobey Babylonian rule(Jeremiah 27:1-3) and Ishmael was their as Zedekiah’s soldier in those times also makes it clear that he still did not want the Judah remnants under Gedaliah to submit to Babylon. Another great reason why Ishmael murdered his leader Gedaliah was his greed for money and riches. The Ammonite country must have been paying him to carry out the assassination.



So one night while the governor was sharing a meal with his officers and body guards, Ishmael took that chance and murdered him along with all who were loyal to him (verse 1-3). The next day, eight pilgrims who had gone to Judah for worship fell into the trap too(verses 4-9). Let us quote Wiersbe Bible writers, “To his terrible breach of hospitality he added hypocrisy, weeping before the eighty Jewish pilgrims who had come to worship, and then killing seventy of them. His greed was revealed when he spared the other ten in order to find out where their supply of food was hidden. He was a cunning and ruthless man who would stop at nothing to get his own way”

Finally, Ishmael captured many people and was readily matching them to the Ammonite country as captives when Johanan and all his army officers intervened, fought against Ishmael and took hold of the captives and brought them home. Unfortunately, Ishmael and some few of his men escaped(verses 11-16). After this, the Judah people were mislead by Johanan who thought that the Babylonian army would come to attack since Gedaliah had been murdered in cold war. Gedaliah had accepted Jeremiah advise of submitting to Nebuchadnezzar and waiting upon God’s right time to deliver them and his death in such manner could have been significant to Babylonian king. In response to this fear of Nebuchadnezzar’s attack, Johanan decided to migrate to Egypt, a decision he made against God’s command of not going to Egypt for shelter (42:10-17).

Our focus today is verse 2. Ishmael who was from a loyal family and great member of governor Gedaliah’s close serving team killed his master and all who were loyal to him while they all were having a meal as family and friends. This conspiracy had been brought to Gedaliah’s attention in the last chapter but for some reasons as we said, he ignored the news and carelessly did not look into the depth of the whole issue. This was bad.

You see, daily motivational speakers encourage us not to listen to people’s words but this should be obeyed with caution. Sometimes, there is sense in what people are saying. I think the best way to handle rumors is to show the one bringing it that you are less concerned but secretly make a research into the possibilities of it being true or valuable. Simply, i am saying that do not just ignore what you call rumors, work on them secretly and find out the real truth. They say there is no smoke without fire and i think this is true most of the times.

I cannot end without inviting any of you who might have not yet received Christ as his or her personal savior. If you want to receive Jesus, just say this prayer: Oh God, i see i am a sinner and You sent your only son Jesus to die for me. Today, i receive Jesus as my personal savior. Please, forgive me all my sins and receive me as your child. Thank you. In JESUS name. Amen

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