Jeremiah’s Advice to Stay
Open Your Bible
Jeremiah 42:1-22, Jeremiah 43:1-13, Psalm 104:1-4, Romans 8:31
Everyone in the whole city wanted to know God’s will for them, or so they said. But when the Lord’s instructions didn’t match up with what the people of Judah wanted to hear, they quickly made up excuses to dismiss the message and the messenger.
God spoke through Jeremiah and told the people to stay put, but they trusted their own plans over His. “Surely Egypt will be better,” they arrogantly thought. Much like when Eve bit into the forbidden fruit, the people placed themselves on the throne to judge what was best for their lives. In doing so, they failed to trust God. It’s a mistake that humankind has made repeatedly since the beginning of time. But just as God was trying to protect Adam and Eve when He warned them not to eat the fruit in the garden, He was trying to protect the people of Judah. It’s important to realize that God wasn’t being controlling or trying to ruin their fun, rather, He knew that if they followed their own path it would lead straight to death (Jeremiah 42:22).
I’m sure we’ve all asked God for wisdom and direction in big and small decisions. But can you think of a time when you weren’t really open to hearing the Father’s answer? Maybe you already had your mind made up about what you wanted to do or what you thought was best. But when God started to speak to you, were you willing to hear what He had to say? Was your heart ready to obey?
Like Adam and Eve, and the people Jeremiah prophesied to, most of the time we are not setting out to purposely rebel against God. The problem is actually more deeply rooted in our hearts than that. The reason we struggle to obey God is because we struggle to trust God. While we profess with our lips that God is a good and wise King, our actions sometimes show that we put more stock in our own judgment and abilities to run the show. But just as it was for the first man and woman, and the stubborn people of Judah, our own steps unguided by the light of the Holy Spirit always lead to the dead end of death.
We must trust God more and trust ourselves less; He must increase, and we must decrease (John 3:30). None of us are perfect in this area. Not one. But we don’t need to figure this out alone. God knows this fault in us, and it’s exactly why He came to save us from ourselves. We have a rescuer who will go after us no matter how far we’ve wandered from the path. Like a good Shepherd, our God will chase down the lost sheep and bring us back into the fold (Luke 15:4). And bit by bit, as we learn to trust God to lead our lives, we will experience life, abundant life.Through communion with God, we will be “transformed into the same image from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18).