|Today’s Scripture: Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. Jeremiah 42:6|
The people of Israel came to Jeremiah asking for escape from the Babylonian army. They came to ask the LORD what they should do and promised that they would follow what He said. Jeremiah prayed that God would answer their request, and ten days later, Jeremiah heard from the Lord. He then called the people together to tell them what God had commanded.
God promised that if they stayed in the land, He would protect them and build them up again. He told them they would not have to fear the king of Babylon because He would save them and deliver them from his hand. However, God also promised that if they fled to Egypt, they would die by the sword, famine, and pestilence.
However, the people answered Jeremiah by saying he was lying to them in order to deliver them to the Babylonians. All the people disobeyed the LORD and went into Egypt, taking Jeremiah with them. God told Jeremiah to hide two stones at the entry of Pharaoh’s house and to prophesy that Nebuchadnezzar would come and set his throne upon the stones. God promised that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy Egypt.
The people disobeyed God and were destroyed because of it. They went against what God said, even after promising to obey. They came to Jeremiah saying that whatever God said, even if it was evil, they would do. Their reason behind their decision was good in fact. They said, “Even if it is evil, we will obey that it may be well with us.” They realized being in God’s will, even if it is in an undesirable and dangerous place, is better than being against God. Even if they died, they would have died obeying God.
However, when it came time to do God’s will, they returned to their own reasoning. They said, “It’s not safe for us to be here – we will all die.” Even though God promised peace if they stayed, logic said to get as far away from the conflict as possible. Instead of staying where God wanted them, they followed their own ways right to where God promised destruction.
We face the same choices today. We encounter a difficulty, and take it to God in prayer. However, when He answers, we question His wisdom. We can follow Him or rely on ourselves. God tells us in His Word, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) It also tells us “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes.” We think we know best, but all too often, our own plans will lead to our destruction.
God’s way is the best way; let’s make sure to follow Him. Even if it looks like we’re headed straight into trouble, remember, it will be far better for us to obey, no matter what the outcome is. Let’s say, “We will obey the voice of the LORD,” and let’s make sure to follow through on that promise.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.