Monday 23 July Devotion

DAY 6: DO NOT RUN AWAY: JEREMIAH AND ISRAEL (Jeremiah 42: 1-22).

If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down: I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear….. for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.

However, if you say, ‘we will not stay in this land…..No, we will go and live in Egypt “…… Then the sword you fear will overtake you there.

Jeremiah 42vs. 10-16 and 1-9

Most “Do not be afraid “ accounts in the Bible result in people finding new strength to move forward. In this situation, however, Israel chooses not to heed to God’s encouragement. They are determined not to trust God but rather to scramble for their own solutions. That means running away from their situation.

The significance of God’s offer of deliverance coming on the brink of judgment is that He was the same God who had pronounced judgment upon the Israelites when they turned against him and now He was the same God who was telling them to stay put and wait for his deliverance. We also see here that God himself is grieved over the disaster he has set upon this nation. So many times we fail to trust God in the face of calamity and start working out our own solution because his answers do not always go well with us or because we are impatient to wait on him. We want quick fix solutions to our problems. Refusing to return to God will only cause our fears to follow us wherever we go. God is ever ready to return in mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who rely on his promises.

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