Insights on Today's Reading
Jeremiah 41 - Gedaliah, the man that Nebuchadnezzar had appointed governor over Judah, had been warned that a man named Ishmael would assassinate him. He didn't listen, but that didn't stop the killing. Ishmael was with a group of Jews who rebelled against Babylon. But in reality they were a bunch of ruthless thugs. You see that in this chapter. Another Jew, Johanan by name, verse 16, came to the rescue and drove Ishmael away.
Jeremiah 42 - Johanan acted like a good man by coming to Jeremiah and making what sounded like a wonderful promise of commitment to God, "Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God..." verse 6*. But God's message was that these Jews should not be afraid of the Babylonians, verse 11, and that they should not go to Egypt, verses 15-22.
Jeremiah 43 - You see the shallowness of Johanan's commitment of the previous chapter. He accused Jeremiah of listening to his assistant, Baruch, and he and his followers would not listen to Jeremiah and obey what he said. So Johanan gathered up all the people, Jeremiah included, verse 6, and went to Egypt. There, God told Jeremiah to warn that even in Egypt the Babylonians would come and destroy that land and bring people into captivity.
Jeremiah 44 - God gave Jeremiah a message against the Jews in Egypt. (Hard to imagine the Jews back in the land from which they were rescued in the Exodus!) The Jews were burning incense to false gods and they rebelled against Jeremiah's message. The reply from Jeremiah was that they would be destroyed by sword and famine, verse 27.
Jeremiah 45 - Jeremiah warned Baruch from looking out for only himself, verse 5. Baruch was seeking "...great things." God wasn't going to reward Baruch with greatness, but God would still rescue him.
*Johanan's commitment in chapter 42:5,6 sounds great. It's the kind of promise every Christian should be willing to make to God: that they are willing to obey God, "no matter what!" But, commitment doesn't equal obedience. We can make lots of promises, but God isn't so pleased with what we say "we will do" as much as He is pleased when "WE DO" what we promised!
Daily commentary and insight from Pastor Eckardt.
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Mt Ephraim Baptist Church | 25 S. Black Horse Pike | Mt Ephraim, NJ 08059
Senior Pastor, Stephen A. Eckardt | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 856.981.7288