Jer 41.10-17 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 have relented concerning 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 trumpet or be hungry for bread,’ then hear the word of the LORD, you 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.’
Due to sin, the people of God are in Babylon. They would be told to stay in Babylon for 70 years. At this point in time, God’s people are getting a bit “antsy” about Babylon, and ask Jeremiah to go to The Lord and ask Him what they should do. The passages this morning are God’s reply. Stay in Babylon and you will be fine. Leave Babylon for Egypt and you will be destroyed. Babylon was where God wanted them to be. Egypt was not. Many bible teachers see Egypt as being a type of the old life. The life that God delivered us out of by the precious blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Just like He delivered Israel out of Egypt by the blood of the Passover lamb on the door posts.
As you read the rest of the chapter, you note that God knew that some of these people who asked Jeremiah to pray for them had already made up their mind to go to Egypt, regardless of what God said. They said that whatever God said, good or bad, they would obey. But in reality, they had had enough of Babylon, and were itching to return to Egypt where there would be no more war and they could live in ease. Babylon was meant to be a place of discipline due to their failure to obey God and live according to His will in the promised land. They were getting weary of the discipline, and apparently had not learned a single lesson. Thus, many of them said to one another, let’s return to “the good old ways like in the good old days.” Beloved, your life before Christ were not the good old days, nor were they good old ways. Because The Father loves us, He chastens us when needed. He does so that we might be partakers of His holiness. He does not want us to bear the image of the world, but the image of His Son.
My heart is constantly needing God’s Word and Spirit to “checkmate” my tendency to make unwise, fleshly moves back to Egypt. That usually begins with thoughts and imaginations. The promise of satisfaction proposed by the world and the flesh always lead to destruction. We know that to be true, beloved. Let’s not be those who ask God to show us His will if we have already made up our mind to do whatever we want in the first place. God is not fooled, we are. And the price that fools pay is far more than the cost of discipleship. Teach us to love and do Thy will, oh God.