Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Johanan Refuses to Obey - Jeremiah 43

Jeremiah 43:7 "So they came into the land of Egypt; for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD; thus came they even to Tahpanhes."

Tahpanhes: a city in Egypt on a branch of the Nile.

The chapter comes after Jeremiah told the remnant that they would be safe in Judah. The leaders accused Jeremiah of being deceived by Baruch, you remember the scribe who wrote down what Jeremiah told him and the book that was burned.

v3 "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 in Babylon."

They, apparently, remember the time of Joseph when Israel was protected in Egypt but have forgotten the many years of slavery there and that they had to be delivered by Moses.

They have also 'forgotten' their promise to obey what ever word Jeremiah brought from the LORD. I think often we pray to tell God what to do rather than to submit to his wisdom in doing the thing we need instead of the thing we want.

As a reminder of the words Jeremiah spake from the LORD, a witness was set up in Egypt.

v9 "Take great stones in thine hand and hide them in the clay in the brick kiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;"

These were a material symbol of a prophecy spoken by Jeremiah that on that very spot the king of Babylon would sit after he had conquered Egypt and dealt with the remnant of Judah for disobeying the LORD.

v11 "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."

I do not know really, why Egypt tried to come to Judah's rescue earlier nor why they want to shelter them now. I'd think that after the Red Sea and the pestilence inflicted on them because of Israel that they would shun them. Now, the king of Babylon is coming.

v12 "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."

Well, it is a far cry from the greatness when David and Solomon were kings. Those kings honored God in their doings and the kingdom was great. The people turned to idols and the kingdom fell. It should be clear which way was best.

Next chapter, tells of the arrogance of the people. They are no longer ashamed of their transgression but lash out.

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