JEREMIAH 43:1-2: “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, 2 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.”
OBSERVATIONS: Are we honestly seeking the will of the Lord for our lives, or are we seeking the Lord to “rubber stamp” our will? This is a question we must all answer. It takes both humility and integrity to truly seek the Lord’s will. Johanan, and all the remnant that had fled from Jerusalem after the death of Gedaliah, appeared to honestly seek the Lord, yet their request was without integrity. Here was their original request to Jeremiah.
JEREMIAH 42:1-3, 5-6: “Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near 2 and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), 3 that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do….5 So they said to Jeremiah, “Let the LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the LORD your God sends us by you. 6 Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”
So what happened? When the Lord spoke to Jeremiah, when He instructed the remnant to return to Jerusalem, they accused Jeremiah of lying. Why? Because their hearts were not sincere in their original request. They wanted to go to Egypt, and they wanted Jeremiah to “rubber stamp” their plans with a “Word from the Lord”. They were seeking “spiritual validation” for what they already determined they were going to do. When the Lord called them to a different path they both rejected the messenger and the message!
There have been many times in my life when I have been like Johanan and the remnant of Israel. I had everything lined up. All my plans were in place. The only thing I was lacking was God’s “rubber stamp”. When I did not receive it, when I instead received godly counsel toward a different direction, I dismissed both the messenger and the message. Why? Of course it was a lack of faith and spiritual understanding on their part, right? Wrong! Proverbs is packed full of advice about seeking godly counsel. We are called to seek His wisdom, His understanding, and not our own. When we do – He will lead us. If we don’t – he will allow us to follow our own path, until we learn His lesson for our lives – the hard way.
Lord, help me to seek Your will for my life with an open and honest heart! Help me to seek Your Word and to seek godly counsel from those I know are truly walking after Your Spirit. Help me to abide in prayer and to be truly willing to do Your will – whether it is what I want or not. Your will is the perfect expression of Your love for my life. Give me ears to hear! In Jesus Name!!