“Then they [Judah] said to Jeremiah, ‘May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God.’ “ (42:5-6)
Jeremiah prays, God instructs, Judah disregards His commands…
“O remnant of Judah, the LORD has told you, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, ‘Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything He says and we will do it.’ I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the LORD your God in all He sent me to tell you. So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle.” (42:19-22, NIV)
Judah instructs Jeremiah to ask “his” God (interesting pronoun selection) for guidance. They even go as far as promising to obey Him even it was “unfavorable.” Jeremiah asks God and receives an answer which is, “Do not go to Egypt.” Jeremiah reprimands Judah for not obeying this instruction, implying that they completely disregarded God’s command and DID go to Egypt. So in a nutshell: Judah begged for guidance, promised to follow it, then completely ignored it.
Beg, promise, ignore. I do that everyday.
I ask for guidance, answers, instruction, help. Most of which has already been given to me through His Word but I choose to under-utilize it.
Then along with asking I make my promises. My conditions. “If You show me, Lord, I’ll follow.” Why does He need my promise tagged on? Is that going to help make up His mind to answer me? “Oh…this time she’ll really follow through because she’s promising. So I’ll grant her request because she’s really sincere this time.” It’s embarrassing how we insult God and His character.
And then there’s the ignore. I receive the answer but blatantly disregard it. Even though it is a clear provision which I begged for in the first place.
We so often ridicule characters in the Bible for their ignorance. We mock the Israelites for their whining and we laugh at the disciples for not seeing what was right under their noses. Yet we are no different. We beg, promise and ignore right along with the best of them.
I am not unlike a child. I don’t know how God has the patience to put up with my stupidity, stubbornness, ignorance and defiance. For the past two weeks God has been clearly speaking concerning a specific calling in my life and I have yet to take action upon it. This passage is the latest in a long thread of clear confirmations. The question is, will I continue to ignore?
God, thank You for using the nation of Judah to reveal disobedience in my life. I know that You have given me clear answers that I have chosen to disregard. You have already promised in Your Word to provide for me so I have no-thing to fear. Unlike Judah, I want to move ahead believing You for what lies ahead and trusting, not doubting, that Your plan is best. I need You, Lord, and You’ve already given me all of You so I have all I need. Amen.