of the Babylonians... (and who can blame them?)and wanted to escape from Israel and go to Egypt...where they assumed they would be safe.
As they were on their way... already kind of deciding what they thought they SHOULD do.. they approached Jeremiah to ask him to inquire of God.. Should they go? Should they stay in Judah? This is a curious thing that they did - because they had already started out to go to Egypt. If I were Jeremiah I might have asked them,"Why are you asking? It seems like your mind is already made up and your feet are already following the path you have decided is the right thing to do."
Furthermore, they told Jeremiah, "May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God." (Jeremiah 42:5-6).
Jeremiah inquires of the Lord. God tells Jeremiah to tell the people to stay in the land.. their land..His land... and if they do He will bless them and build them up and prosper them.
The people reject what Jeremiah tells them that God has told him. They accuse him of lying and being influenced by his scribe, Baruch. And they accuse Baruch of lying because he wants them to be handed over to the Babylonians and killed. What they never ask themselves is, "Why would Baruch want that for us?" and "How can we possibly know what Baruch is thinking or saying and why we think Jeremiah would be influenced by it?"
So they disobey, go to Egypt and are destroyed and led in to captivity.
Sad story. So what?
Have you ever met people who say they want God's will but they have already started to go in the direction they want to go?
They ask you what you think and when you offer them God's Word they reject it.
They "Blame Baruch"...they refuse to accept that God's Word is God's Word and blame the Bible as an unacceptable answer to what they have already decided to do.
IT'S TRUE THAT SOMETIMES... we all face TERRIFYING BABYLONIANS... we face things that we cannot control.. we cannot overcome.. .we are convinced it will destroy us.
So we run to Egypt.. we run to what makes sense.. what we can control.. because we refuse to believe God is good and can protect us... WHERE WE ARE.. IN THE MIDDLE OF WHAT WE ARE FACING.
The Babylonians were cruel and destructive. No one can blame them for being afraid.
So is cancer.
So is betrayal.
So is death.
So is financial fear.
So is rejection.
So is the world.
So are the leaders of our nations.
It's natural to be afraid of and affected by those things.
It seems unnatural to trust an unseen Being who doesn't let us hear His voice when we want to.
We want to trust ourselves.
It makes sense to take matters in to our own hands.
You don't have to believe the Bible is God's Word.
You don't have to believe He will walk with you, next to you, help you. You don't have to WAIT until the victory is evident.
You don't have to ask the Holy Spirit to help your actions conform to what the Bible says.
You can take matters in to your own hands - or trust your life in to the Hand of God. That's your choice also.
God's Word is God's Word... And in it He makes promises that will never be broken. He gives assurance that no matter what you are walking through, He is walking right next to you.
And you have been given the freedom - BY GOD - to believe it and receive and live it.. or not.
Many people say they want to know God's will, but when the Bible seems to indicate that the path they are on is not the path God has offered them.... they brush it off as words from an archaic Book.
Blaming Baruch is often the first step toward our own demise.