“Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them, all these words, that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, ‘You speak falsely! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, “Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.” But Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon.’” (Jeremiah 43:1-3 NKJV)
It seemed to be a simple enough request: pray that God will tell us where we should go and what we should do. (vs 42:3) It took God ten days to respond. That’s when the problem showed up. The message from God, through Jeremiah wasn’t what they wanted to hear. They wanted to run away from the troubles in Jerusalem and Jeremiah told them that God’s word to them was to stay in the land and that He would restore them. (vss. 9-12) That’s when the leaders of the remnant went ballistic. They flat out called Jeremiah a liar. It’s interesting that they wanted to exile themselves to Egypt because they were afraid of being exiled to Babylon. The end result was that they ran away to Egypt, taking Jeremiah and Baruch with them. I wonder if they were prisoners on the journey. Once there, though, Jeremiah prophesied that the doom they thought they were running away from would catch up to them in Egypt.
It’s a running truth joke that there are some people who want to know the will of God so that they can consider doing it. Jeremiah would let all of us know that it won’t work that way. Once we determine the will of God, all of our efforts ought to be directed toward fulfilling it. So how do you determine the will of God. My pastor claims to have stolen this four part method from Henry Blackaby: 1) Scripture, 2) Prayer, 3) Circumstances, and 4) Wise counsel. If all four of those things line up, then God’s will should be clear and your responsibility is to act on it. If all four don’t line up, then you need to investigate more deeply. However this may pan out, you’re called to follow God’s plan for your life by finding and doing His will.
Lord, as I seek Your will, help me to find appropriate Scriptures, pray with an eye to obedience, understand the circumstances I’m dealing with, and find wise counselors who will direct me in Your way.