Jeremiah 42:3 "Pray that the Lord your God may tell us the way we should go and the thing we should do.”
Utter destruction. A brutal and unyielding army. A homeland devastated. The scene before the remnant of Israel was terrifying. With nowhere to turn they reached out to Jeremiah to seek guidance from GOD. It was their last choice. However, when GOD tells them that HE will protect them if they stay rooted in their homeland, they chose another way. We read that the remnant heeds the advice of their arrogant leaders and chose to settle in Egypt. They suffered the tremendous consequences that came with their disobedience. But why?
First, the remnant did not thoroughly examine the information they were receiving. The two loudest voices were Jeremiah and the commanders of the army. Jeremiah was a generally despised prophet who spoke GOD's truth regardless of the consequences. And not just that, Jeremiah's words had come true. GOD had proven Jeremiah to be faithful and accurate. Furthermore, Jeremiah didn't rush to answer their question. In the chapter it says that GOD didn't answer for 10 days. In that silence, Jeremiah didn't speak to fill the void. No, he waited till GOD actually spoke. The commanders, in contrast, had an elevated position in their society. They were leaders but they didn’t act based on their faith. They acted based on their fears and their worldly wisdom. Their swift response also cues us in that more than anything they were choosing to react to the world around them. There was no reflection or quite time spent before GOD verifying Jeremiah's instructions. They honored their intuition and led people astray.
Secondly it is imperative that we cannot make decisions based on fear. When we pray for direction and GOD provides those instructions we cannot remain hindered by our own emotions. Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego had an impossible decision before them. Their faithfulness to GOD did not bring them any favors in the human world. But they made up their minds. Daniel 3: 17-18 " If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the GOD we serve is able to deliver us from it, and HE will deliver us from your majesty's hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know that we will not serve your gods." Our reality does not change the magnitude of our GOD. Even if GOD had not chosen to rescue the three young men that day, HIS omnipotence and grace would remain unchanged. We see that even the though the three walk in the furnace, there's a fourth person that walks beside them. They young men come out of the furnace without even the smell of smoke. Why? Because when GOD asked them to move, they did.
We all make decisions on the daily. Some small and what we assume are insignificant. Others will alter the course of our lives. No matter the decision we don't ever have to do it alone. I've said this time and time again. Our GOD is alive and loves to respond to us. He is not like the ancient idols who's golden lips remained sealed. No, our GOD longingly awaits for us to sit still in HIS presence and seek HIS guidance. Even if that guidance asks us to walk through fire, HE's right there besides us.