Words Of Truth
"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).
Having A Basic Understanding of Some Old Testament Truths
Part 325 – Coming To Jeremiah Through The God’s Of Egypt (Jeremiah 42:1-43:13)
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1. What did Johanan and the people with him promise to do?
They promised to obey God: “(1) Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near, (2) And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) (3) That the Lord thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do. (4) Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you. (5) Then they said to Jeremiah, The Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the Lord thy God shall send thee to us. (6) Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the Lord our God” (Jeremiah 42:1-6).
All from least to greatest assembled together. This is a show of unity (cf. Nehemiah 8:1).
In times of trouble, they wanted the prayers of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 21:2 and Jeremiah 37:3).
God, as some point, doesn’t want to hear from Jeremiah about the people (Jeremiah 7:16, Jeremiah 11:14, and Jeremiah 14:11-12).
They claimed they wanted God to shew them the way to walk. For honest people in the Old Testament, that was a reasonable request (Psalms 25:8; cf. Jeremiah 7:25).
Jeremiah would not hold back any message God wanted declared to the people (II Chronicles 18:13, Jeremiah 1:7, Jeremiah 1:17, Jeremiah 26:2, Acts 20:20, and Acts 20:26-27).
Jeremiah proclaimed that the Lord was a witness both for his words (Romans 1:9) and their promises (Judges 11:10).
Whether for good or evil, they promised to obey God. This was not the only time God had heard such from Israel (Exodus 24:3-8, Deuteronomy 5:1-27, Joshua 24:14-25, II Kings 11:17, etc.).
Yet, as oft as they made a covenant with God, they broke it. This is how God felt: “(11) But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. (12) So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. (13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! (14) I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries” (Psalms 81:11-14).
All from the least to the greatest will break this promise (Jeremiah 43:4) and they all will suffer for it (Jeremiah 44:12).
2. What would Johanan and the people have to do to gain the mercy of God?
Abide in Judah: “(7) And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah. (8) Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, (9) And said unto them, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him; (10) If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. (11) Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. (12) And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land” (Jeremiah 42:7-12).
Jeremiah 24:1-10, Jeremiah 27:1-12, and Jeremiah 29:4-7
3. What did God tell them would happen if they chose to go to Egypt?
They would not get His mercy, rather they would get God’s anger: “(13) But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the Lord your God, (14) Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell: (15) And now therefore hear the word of the Lord, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there; (16) Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die. (17) So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them. (18) For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more” (Jeremiah 42:13-18).
Choosing to disobey God brought/brings consequences (Leviticus 26:14-46, Deuteronomy 28:15-68, I Kings 13:1-26, Nehemiah 9:26-27, Isaiah 3:8, and II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
God has long told His people NOT to go to Egypt for help (Isaiah 30:1-3, Isaiah 36:1-7, Jeremiah 37:6-9, and Jeremiah 42:19).
Judah’s problem was that they trusted in the strength of men rather than of God (Psalms 118:8-9, Proverbs 21:30-31, Psalms 118:8-9, and Isaiah 2:22).
God sees their looking to Egypt for help as an act of rebellion against Him (Ezekiel 17:12-19).
4. Were the hearts of Johanan and the people really set on obeying God?
No: “(19) The Lord hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day. (20) For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the Lord your God, saying, Pray for us unto the Lord our God; and according unto all that the Lord our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it. (21) And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you. (22) Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn” (Jeremiah 42:19-22).
It has long been the practice in Israel that God would send prophets to warn the people and the people would not listen (II Chronicles 24:19).
Jeremiah did his part in warning them not to go to Egypt (Ezekiel 3:17-21).
Jeremiah called them out because they “dissembled” [deceived] in their hearts when they wanted Jeremiah to pray for them and promised to do what God said (Proverbs 26:24-28; cf. Psalms 12:1-3, Psalms 28:3, Psalms 55:21, Jeremiah 12:6, and Matthew 15:7-9).
Though taught, they didn’t obey (Ezekiel 2:1-7).
Their disobedience brought God’s judgment upon them (Jeremiah 14:10-12).
5. Was Jeremiah able to convince the people not to go to Egypt?
No, and they justified themselves by accusing Jeremiah of lying: “(1) And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them, even all these words, (2) Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there: (3) But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon. (4) So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in the land of Judah. (5) But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah; (6) Even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. (7) So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes” (Jeremiah 43:1-7).
The proud men arose with Azariah and Johanan (Psalms 12:3, Psalms 119:21, and Proverbs 16:18).
Jeremiah has been oft opposed by the people (Jeremiah 1:19, Jeremiah 20:7-12, and Jeremiah 26:10-11).
They chose disobedience – they’ll face the consequences (Proverbs 1:24-31).
6. What did God have Jeremiah say concerning what was to come of Egypt?
God had Jeremiah prophesy of destruction concerning Egypt at the hand of the king of Babylon: “(8) Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, (9) Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah; (10) And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. (11) And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword. (12) And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace. (13) He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire” (Jeremiah 43:8-13).
Jeremiah goes to Egypt [Tahpanhes; Jeremiah 44:1] to deliver this message.
God had Jeremiah show them that Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, God’s servant (Jeremiah 25:9 and Jeremiah 27:6), would take much of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:19-20).
Egypt would face death, captivity, etc. at the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon (II Kings 24:7, Jeremiah 46:1-26, and Ezekiel 30:1–32:32).
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