Jeremiah chapter 43: The only secure and most beautiful place is where God wants us to be.
In today’s reading, we observe the practical disobey of God’s counsel. Despite the promises, the warning, the review of historical experience, and the disclosure of the plot they had against God’s counsel, Johanan and his men proceeded and acted against God’s word. Jeremiah had done a lot to help his nation by telling the right path to follow but no one had paid attention. Throughout the last chapters up to the last day that Jerusalem was burnt down, he was wrongly accused of many sins but all the facts pointed him out as the right one. But even after all those things had happened, he is referred to as the lair telling what God has not said (verses1-3). They say that nothing can stop a determined-to-sin heart from sinning. And that is what a mindset is.To me, i think these people knew well that Jeremiah was telling the truth. They also knew that God was serious. However, it is usually hard to trust the unseen when there options visible. Even now, there are things they teach us and we know that they are true but somehow we cannot take them in. This is for so many reasons and in most cases we are unable to tell these reasons to ourselves or even to our friends and since we are forced to give some, we end up creating excuses. These guys had very dangerous excuses. They called the prophet of God a liar and thus the one who sent him, they also accused Baruch of influencing Jeremiah. All these were just excuses for their disobedience, another failure for failures: Giving excuses.
So Johanan and his soldiers made all the people(both willing and non-willing) to move to Egypt, the forbidden land(verses 4-7). Some people may reason here that Jeremiah did wrong by going to Egypt but he did the most right thing. The bible is clear on verse 6, the last part of it, “Johanan also took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah”. This is may not necessarily mean that ropes were used by Johanan to pull Jeremiah but what do you expect a faithful prophet like Jeremiah to do after all his people, the sheep he was responsible for, had been swept away to go to Egypt? He had to follow and remain their prophet up to the end. You see, at times we are really not responsible for the errors that happen. For example, if a soldier gives advice to the president not to engage into wars and the president refuses, the soldier won’t stop fighting for the president, He will have to serve his loyalty and whatever the consequences, the president is entirely responsible.
While in Egypt, God appeared again and gives another lesson to his people by use of illustrations. Some writers have said that this was the last message of Jeremiah portrayed with illustrations. Jeremiah is asked to bury some stones in front of Pharaoh’s house, a message that interpreted how King Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Egypt and its gods, the gods that the Israelite were then going to be worshiping(verses 8-13). This came true for between 568-567 BC, King Nebuchadnezzar attacked and destroyed Egypt. This was a simple war for Babylon for it took only one year to be completed compared to capture of Judah which had taken long time. So those who had gone to Egypt to escape wars, hunger or terrible diseases met all of these disasters from Egypt and God remained God.
Our focus today is simple: The only secure place is where God tells you to go. That is the most satisfactory place. Yesterday, we discussed how to choose a right career, this point was all we were explaining. To discover where God wants us to be. This is not always easy and at times, we take a life-time to know the right place but what matters is to end up in it though it is always better to find it earlier. God told these guys that in Egypt, where they expected peace and prosperity, they would instead meet wars, hunger and diseases but since all the eyes could see was good, they decided to trust their senses than God’s word.
I remember it is just yesterday when ladies and gentlemen were talking of finding happiness in marriage. A grown-up woman said that whatever the case, girls who find very grown up men who are already set and who see these ladies as young will definitely have peace since there won’t be cheating and lack. As i listened to them point out their means, i just knew that they also knew that they were wrong. Do you know how many young women are being traumatized by these very old men in marriage? Do you think a cheating man will stop because you are young? Actually, do you think it is a happier marriage to find a man who is about 20 years older than you? Yeah, at times it can be a remedy to some of your challenges but not to many. There is a lot to consider in marriage than just age. And what i am talking about is God’s decision on your marriage. If God wants you to be there, provides a loving husband, listening and respectful, then you will enjoy love even though you may be of the same age or not.
I am simply saying that the only secure, peaceful, and the most beautiful place we must long to be in is where God wants us to be and the rest comes after. Oh God, i just pray that we are where you want us to be. Please, give us the wisdom to discern where you need us to be and the courage to be there against all odds. Thank you God.
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