1 – “Now the cistern into which Ishmael had thrown all the bodies of the men whom he had struck down along with Gedaliah was the large cistern that King Asa had made for defense against Baasha king of Israel; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with the slain.” (Jeremiah 41:9, ESV)
RAF: Our minds, particularly our memories, are reservoirs from which we draw reserves of God’s provision in the dry seasons or when under siege from the Enemy. If we fill our memories with sights and sounds of dead and corrupting things, what will we draw from in times of trial?
2 – “Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”” (Jeremiah 42:5-6, ESV)
RAF: May I always have such a heart – that whether God’s counsel is to my liking or not, it is better to me to have His counsel, than not. More often, like the ones on this text, I say it, but do not really mean it.
3 – “At the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.” (Jeremiah 42:7, ESV)
RAF: Sometimes God does not answer quickly, no matter how in earnest we are.
4- “and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your plea for mercy before him: If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land. But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there,’” (Jeremiah 42:9-14, ESV)
RAF: Sometimes the very best place for us to be, is also the one with danger, upset, uncertainty and need.
5 – ““For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. You shall see this place no more.” (Jeremiah 42:18, ESV)
RAF: The only safe place to be when God is pouring out His chastening, is running to Him, not from Him.
6 – “Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster.” (Jeremiah 44:15-17, ESV)
RAF: Sin so distorts our perceptions, that we cannot discern God’s patience with us in our rebellion – and instead – conclude our rebellion actually brought us gain.
7 – ““Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch:” (Jeremiah 45:2, ESV)
RAF: How much I am like Baruch – more grieved at how God’s judgments impact me personally, than caring about what He is doing on the larger scale.