The nation of Judah had been carried off to Babylon, but a small remnant was left behind in the land of Israel, along with the prophet Jeremiah. Still fearful that Babylon would return for them, they considered seeking refuge in Egypt, but requested Jeremiah first ask God if they should go. They vowed before the prophet, “Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God” (Jeremiah 42:6).
God responded, instructing them to remain in the land, “Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand” (Jeremiah 42:11). A short time later, “they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord” (Jeremiah 43:7). The people vowed to obey, then rebelled when God answered. What happened?
A clue is found between the request and the rebellion, “at the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 42:7). The silence tested their faith. God took ten days to answer, which gave the people ten days to ponder whom they feared, and they feared the Babylonians they could see more than they feared disobeying the God they could not. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). They should have waited.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
Almighty God, You are forever faithful and true. I place my trust in You because You are the Rock, the Solid Foundation on which to build my life.
Sometimes God I am tempted to trust in things I can hold. I would rather trust in the One who holds me. You are my God. I will place my faith in the One who is always faithful.