Verse of the Week: Jeremiah 42:6 “Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.”
Encouraging Thought: It is important to obey the voice of the Lord because He always knows what’s right and what is best for us. The children of Israel knew that if they obeyed God that it would be well with them; meaning that God would bless them and take care of them. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” God hasn’t changed, and Jesus is God. John 8:58 says, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” The great I AM is God Almighty. And if it was well with the Hebrew children when they obeyed His voice, it will be well with God’s children today. They will be blessed and cared for. If you are an obedient child of God, it will be well with you.
Words of Wisdom: However, when faced with a dilemma, some Christians seek God’s counsel like the lost seek guidance from their friends. They pray, “Lord, I need help. Show me what to do and I’ll do it.” But as they’re getting off their knees, they’re thinking, “Of course, I always reserve the right to choose not to follow God’s instructions if He tells me to do something I don’t want to do.”
That’s what happened to Judah. The Chaldeans had raided the land and taken captives. In fear and desperation, the remnant went to Jeremiah and begged for him to inquire of God for them. “That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do…. The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.” (Jeremiah 42:3,5)
So the men of Judah sent Jeremiah to inquire of God and assured him that they would obey God’s voice “Whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” meaning that they would obey regardless of whether or not they liked his instructions. Ten days later, Jeremiah returned to them with God’s answer. God told them to stay right where they were and He would rebuild them and protect them from the king of Babylon. Then Jeremiah told them what God would do to them if they left Judah and went into Egypt.
I wondered why God warned them against going into Egypt when they displayed such sincerity in their request for God’s help. Then I got to the next chapter. (43:2,4) After Jeremiah gave them God’s instructions, he was confronted by “all the proud men,” who said, “…Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there…So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.”
They knew if they obeyed it would be well with them, but despite what they said, they weren’t willing to sacrifice their wills on the altar of obedience. When God directs us in a way that we don’t like, it requires us to sacrifice our wills to Him in order to obey. But if we obey the voice of God, it will be well with us.