Jer 40-42 What God said would happen happened. The Babylonians took over Jerusalem and carted off its people. God graciously opens the heart of Nebuchadnezzar and allows the prophet Jeremiah to go free. He is given two choices, go to Babylon and live with Nebuzaradan or return to his people. “He stayed there to live among the people who had been left in the land of Judah.” [Jer 40:6] Jeremiah loved his people so much that he was willing to suffer in a land of devastation rather than go to Babylon and live there in relative peace. So how do we decide what to do?
Once back there, we find that the people still have stubborn hearts. They ask Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord what to do next and end their request with “what He says, we will do.” That is reminiscent of the Israelites before Moses in the book of Numbers. But, as then, so now, when they hear what God says, they say, that cannot be! Jeremiah, you lie! We are going to Egypt. Before, they wandered for forty years, and the disobedient died in the wilderness. Now they will die in Egypt —just as God said.
God places choices before us as well, and we must decide. We don’t have a Jeremiah to inquire before the Lord for us, but we do have His Word. Will we listen? Will we obey? Indeed we are stubborn people. Peter learned this lesson: “His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness.” [2Pet 1:3] How about us? OR-—
Do we need to do another lap around the wilderness to learn? Will we believe and obey?