Jeremiah 40-45 tells of how the Babylonians had left a remnant of Jews in Judah after they had conquered the country and taken many Jews into exile in Babylon. Now the Jews left in Judah freaked out because the governor that the Babylonians had put over them was assassinated and they were worried of repercussions. The people, therefore, decided to leave Judah and go to Egypt to escape the Babylonians. As they were leaving they decided to ask Jeremiah to seek God for them. What they wanted was confirmation from God of their plans. Instead, Jeremiah tells them that they shouldn’t have come to God asking him to bless their decision but should have come to God openly seeking his will. Jeremiah tells them that God says they should stay in Judah; they ignore him and go to Egypt. It is then prophesied by Jeremiah that the Babylonians; who they are trying to escape; are going to get them in Egypt and that they will all die for their disobedience to God.
This story has challenged me today, I am in a season of change, I have lots of ideas of what I could do and I have also completely ruled out others. The truth is I’m comfortable and I’m scared of a big change in my life right now. However, by thinking like this, I am not demonstrating that I believe that God’s way is higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8-9) but that I know best. I am in danger of like the Jews asking God to bless my plans rather than seeking his will for my situation and then following him.
The truth is that God does actually know better than we do, our perspective and understanding of circumstances is so small compared to the one who holds waters in the hollow of his hand (Isaiah 40:12) and who knows the beginning and the end of time (Isaiah 46:10). He loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3); he cares about us and the details in our lives (Psalm 37:23). As Ephesians 2:10 says: ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.’
So to summarise, are you in a situation today that you need to surrender to God? I know I am. Today I am praying Proverbs 3:5-6:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight’