The Seine River running through Paris

The Seine River running through Paris

Friday, August 19, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 20, Jer 41-45

Today's readings are Jer 41-45. Tomorrow's are Jeremiah 46-48. 

The Babylonian governor, Gedaliah is assassinated by Ishmael, who is working for the king of the Ammonites, who was anti-Babylonian. Ishmael kills the governor, a group of Babylonian soldiers and some Judean soldiers as well. Then Ishmael kills a group of men who are trying to worship at the Temple ruins. Ishmael takes the remaining people of Mizpah (about 8 miles north of Jerusalem) hostage and sets out for Ammon. 

Johanon, the soldier that tried to ward Gedaliah, rescues the hostages but Ismael and 10 of his men escape.

Fearing reprisals from Babylon over the assassination of Gedaliah, Johanon and the remnant of Mizpah head for Egypt and safety. Prior to leaving, though, they ask Jeremiah for a word from the Lord, vowing to heed it no matter what he says. 

Jeremiah tells them to stay where they are, God will protect them. If they go to Egypt, they will meet with disaster at the hand of the Babylonians. They go anyway, taking Jeremiah with them.  

When they get to Egypt, they fall back to worshiping false gods, thinking they had done so in earlier times and it all worked out OK. Jeremiah warns them suffering is on the way due to their idol worship, which actually brought on all the trouble they were currently in, but they reject the word of God, once again. 

Jeremiah sends a message to Baruch, who has remained in Judah, cautioning him not to seek high office, trouble is on the way.

To sum up, the remnant in Judah is desperate to regain the prosperity they had prior to the Babylonian invasion. They seek God's guidance but refuse to obey Him when He tells them to do the thing they fear the most, remain in their situation. They want relief and will gain it at all cost, even forsaking God and returning to their evil ways.   

This is what happens when we are so bent on getting out of our situation that we take things into our own hands, believing that some momentary disobedience will be worth it if we can just escape the hardship we're immersed in. It's not going to work for the exiles in Egypt and it never works for us either. Like the remnant, we end up further from God than when we began.  

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