The text for today's message is taken from Jeremiah 42. Yes, the whole chapter. Please take some time to read it. Just to give you a brief overview, this passage is about the remnant in Babylon asking Jeremiah to pray for the Lord to guide their steps. As requested Jeremiah offers the prayer. The Israelites assured Jeremiah before he prayed that whatever the Lord said to do, they would do. No matter what the answer was, even said the Lord was their witness in this promise. The answer Jeremiah gives begins filled with hope, yet very quickly the tone changes. The Lord doesn't focus on what He's going to do to save them, rather He focuses on the consequences of what He will do if their not obedient to His will.
I will highlight Jeremiah 42:16 (NKJV); "then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die." That was really what this was all about. The Israelites were afraid in Babylon, afraid that the things going on in their carnal life would decimate them. Afraid of war, afraid of famine. So they had devised in their hearts to run to Egypt where they would be "protected". Remember, God always judges the intent of the heart. The text doesn't say it, but I think they asked Jeremiah to pray because they wanted God to confirm their desires. Family, very rarely does that occur.
In fact, He's telling them that by running where you want to run you are going to be outside of His Will. Outside of His Grace. Outside of His Protection. The fear of life's uncertainties will cause us to rationalize appealing to our carnal nature. We must not do that. We must be steadfast and believe that He is who He is, and that He will do what He has promised, even though what we see seems contrary.
If you turn in your Bible to Jeremiah 26, there is another similar situation. Jeremiah is told to tell the people God's will. When he says it he knows that somebody may want to kill him. Yet he is obedient, and delivers God's message. Of course he is saved. There is another prophet who is sent to do the same....yet carnal fear produces a very different outcome. "Now there also was a man who prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah, the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to the words of Jeremiah. And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt. Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt. And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the kinig, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death." (Jeremiah 26:20-24 NKJV)
Sisters and brothers, fear will kill you. Fear will make you run outside of God's will and protection. There is a reason why in His Word He continuously reminds us not to fear. Now is the time to make a bold stand for Him, to share His word with the world. He will protect you, as long as you allow Him to. Do not be influenced by the tides of this ocean some call reality. Anchor yourself on The Rock, and do not be swayed. Life eternal is yours, live like it. Divine protection, provision, and direction is constantly upon you. Live like it. Seems a little silly to fear what you were created to have dominion over, doesn't it?
I pray you be courageous, I pray you be obedient, I pray you fulfill the purpose with which He created you. Cast off all doubt, all worries, everything that you know is contrary to His word. Clothe yourself in His promises, His righteousness, His protection, His peace, and live as He intends. Study your Word, pray, and worship Him in all you do. The enemy is supposed to attack you, hence the reason He's the enemy. If he's not, you're probably not doing what you're supposed to. Fear, the greatest killer of all.
Be Blessed Be Faithful