We do many things out of fear. When we lose hope and believe that the light at the end of the tunnel might be a train, we turn to worldly measures to get us out of the situation. A few years ago, I cried out to God for open doors. A lady from church came to me (she didn’t know my story), and told me that God wants me to be at peace. At that stage I thought to myself that if I were more at peace, I would be dead. Now again, my plea to Him is to light my path and open doors. Again, He is telling me to wait, to be at peace. In fact, the last few weeks this is the verse that God is leaving me with: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, KJV).
Now, you may ask me what does that have to do with today’s piece in Jeremiah 42. Sorry to you guys that find the King James Version hard to follow. But for me it is more poetic and true. You see Johanan and the people were in fear of the Babylonians, so they petitioned Jeremiah to speak to God on their behalf. In other words, he had to intercede for them. They promised to obey the instructions that God will show them. We see Jeremiah’s response in verse 3-7:
That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do. Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you. Then they said to Jeremiah, The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us. 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. And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah. Jeremiah 42:3-7 KJV https://bible.com/bible/1/jer.42.3-7.KJV
They had to wait for ten days to hear the word from God. God told them to stay in the place and be blessed. That they should not fear, but that He will care for them. With this, God warned them not to go into Egypt, for they’ll be followed by the sword, pestilence and famine. One would think that after the prediction of Israel’s exile into Babylon the people will hear the word and listen. God also knew the doubts in the hearts of the men who petitioned Him. For Jeremiah said to them, “For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God; and according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it” (Jeremiah 42:20). The men’s hearts and minds were already made up to go into Egypt, no matter what God told them to do. This is what fear and doubt does to your hearts and mind. Johanan didn’t believe in God’s word for him and the people, which had terrible consequences, we read in Chapter 43. We too can stumble if we go off the path set before us.
How then do we stay on the right path? By focusing your trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. David said in Psalms 119:105 (KJV) that, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” So, what do we have to do then when the situation you are in seems bleak and dark. What helps me is to stay in the word of God. Meditate daily on His word, pray earnestly and wait on the Lord. Jeremiah had to wait 10 days, and it says that Daniel that he had to wait for 21 days, in prayer and fasting. Sometimes, the light God provides is only enough for the direct path in front of your feet. He doesn’t want you to know about the other dangers around you. For He will deal with them. Our trust should only be in our Lord God.
My prayer for you today, will be to place your trust in the Lord God. May He then light the way for your path, and may He give you strength of heart to follow Him. #GodCanDoThis