Jeremiah 43:1-2   When Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the LORD their God – everything the LORD had sent him to tell them –  Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying!  The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’”

How fickle the human heart is!  The people who had been left behind after the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple were confused and distraught.  Attempted resurgences against the Babylonian occupation army, together with competing leadership claims, only led to further atrocities and loss of life.  With these experiences they now knew that Jeremiah’s earlier prophetic warnings, that the best option was to accept the Babylonian captivity willingly and optimistically, had been singularly accurate.

So they asked his advice, vowing to follow it regardless (42:1-6).  But when it turned out to be at variance with their own ‘rational’ thinking – their plans to flee and make a new life in Egypt – they once again turned against him – and, sadly, suffered the consequences, again exactly as God had warned them through Jeremiah.  The leaders of this rebellion are described as ‘arrogant men’.

With what attitude do we read God’s Word?  Are we willing to let it be the supreme rule of faith and practice in every part of our lives?  Or do we tend to ignore it or explain it away when it doesn’t fit in with our preconceived ideas and plans?  Do we have full confidence in it as a ‘lamp for [our] feet and a light to [our] path’ (Psalm 119:105)?

In our more reflective moments, do we realise that to think we, the dependent creatures, know better than God our Creator, is really the height of arrogance?.  This is especially so when God has proven throughout history that he is absolutely sovereign in all our affairs, and that he always has our best interests at heart.  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Can we trust him with his promises, and the commands associated with them, regardless of how counterintuitive they might seem to us?

– Bruce Christian