Monday, September 10, 2007

Stay in Babylon

Again I find myself in Jeremiah. The Lord is Faithful to speak through his Word.

Jeremiah 42:1-43:7

The remnant of Judah was afraid. They had just been attacked and murdered. They were afraid of war, famine and persecution. They were going to escape Babylon and find sanctuary in Egypt. After they started their journey, they came to where Jeremiah was. They stopped to inquire of the Lord what he would have them do. They spoke to Jeremiah and said. "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." (42:6) 10 days later the Word came to Jeremiah.

"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition , says: 'If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the LORD, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.' "'However, if you say, 'we will not stay in this land,' and so disobey the LORD your God, and if you say, 'No we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,' then hear the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, then the sword you fear will overtake you there and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. Indeed , all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.'""

This is a powerful promise. The people have to choose between obedience and continuing in the plans they have made. They must choose between faith and what seems to be the most logical. They accuse Jeremiah of lying and continue to Egypt. It is easy to read this passage and judge them for choosing to follow the plans they have started, to choose logic over faith. Yet how often do we start a project then ask the Lord to bless it? How often do we weigh the options and choose what is most logical?

I am in Babylon. I try to find a way to Egypt, looking, planning, and dreaming of a greener pasture. Yet, the things I fear: loneliness, singleness and being too comfortable, I will not escape in Egypt. The Lord alone can satisfy me. He alone will provide for all of my needs. Oh Lord, forgive your daughter for seeking to leave Babylon. My heart is untrusting, KNOWING yet struggling to BELIEVE the promises are true. You have shown me your heart for the world and I long to go, yet I remain here. In Babylon. May I learn to trust your provision, your timing. My King, lead your daughter in the way that you would have me to go. I will stay in Babylon and seek your face. Hear the cries of my heart and be my provision. For you alone are God. Lead your stumbling daughter in the way you would have me to go, for I am your servant. I WILL STAY IN BABYLON.