Jeremiah 42, 43
Being at a crossroad in their lives, and after having done their best to bring about justice against the atrocities committed by Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah and all the people of every class, went to the prophet Jeremiah, vs 1.
They earnestly asked the prophet to seek God for direction on their behalf, as to where they were to go and what they were to do next, vs 2,3.
While Jeremiah agreed to seek God on their behalf, he warned them that they were bound to walk in obedience to the Word that the Lord gave them, to which condition they readily agreed, vs 4-6. After ten days the Lord spoke to them very clearly through Jeremiah that He was sorry about the disaster that He had brought upon them and told them that they should now stay in the land of Israel where He would build them up and see to it that they were firmly planted therein, vs 7-10.
He also told them that they were not to fear the king of Babylon for God was sure to save and rescue them from his power and cause the king to permit them to stay in their land, vs 11,12. He warned them to refrain from being disobedient, and thus being lured to go down to Egypt, thinking that if they did so, they would avoid war or starvation. For God warned them that if they did so, then that which they feared would surely come upon them, thus leading them to their death, and as a result never returning to their homeland again, vs 13-22!
However, they simply refused to receive the word that God gave them through the prophet Jeremiah, and instead falsely accused Jeremiah of lying to them, and also falsely accused Baruch of stirring Jeremiah up so as to give them that prophetic word, Jeremiah 43:1-3! So saying, they refused to obey the Lord, and instead led the entire Judean remnant to go with them to Egypt! Left with no other option, reluctantly, Jeremiah and Baruch also followed them there, vs 4-6! At Tahpanhes the LORD spoke to Jeremiah and told him to prophesy that Nebuchadnezzar would surely plunder Egypt and its gods at a later date, vs 7-13.
Similarly, when passing through difficult circumstances, it is very possible for us too to earnestly seek a word from the Lord for direction and guidance, yet on receiving the same with clarity, we tend to water it down and disbelieve its credibility, only because it goes against our reason and requires us to walk in complete faith in God!
At such times the temptation to rely on the arm of flesh whom we can see, seems to us to be a better alternative than relying upon our God whom we can only see, through His Word, and if we choose to walk in faith in the same! It is only the righteous who will choose to walk by faith during such times, while those whose hearts are proud will choose to walk by sight, while using every excuse they can find to do so!
The sad thing is that this majority often drags with them many other naive people to follow suit, and eventually this leads them into destruction!
Let us beware of following the majority, but rather choose to obey God and suffer hardship temporarily with His people, rather than choosing to lean on the arm of flesh, and enjoy the passing pleasures of sin! Amen.