Jeremiah 42: 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.
It was a chaotic time for Israel. The nation was divided. Many of the people were taken into Babylon captivity. Young Daniel and the three Hebrew children were among them. God allowed his people to be divided, conquered, and carried away because of sin.
Stragglers were left behind. They were divided and depressed because of what happened. They watched their country be over swept by their enemies. They were disorganized and disillusioned. They didn’t know what to do. They felt their time was over and were at the end of their rope. That’s a sad shape to be in. The greatest nation on earth a few years ago was now nothing. We’ve seen the US fall apart in a fairly short amount of time. Spiritually we were stronger but now we see the falling away. There was still a remnant holding on. They didn’t know which direction to go, so they went to God’s man, Jeremiah.
God has his presence in the midst of his people. Our present situation is bad and getting worse. It is intimidating on churches and individuals. We’ve still got each other and the Lord. We still have the Bible and God’s house. The people gathered and approached Jeremiah. He was the symbol of God’s presence. They were but a few, but God is the same in few as in many. He is the same on the mountain or in the valley. Our strength comes from the Lord not from ourselves. They drew near to the source. Let us stay near the source of our strength.
The people realized their weakness, but they knew God’s size. They knew it was time to draw near to God. It’s time for us to stand up and be counted with the people of God. We know that if we stay with the Lord, he will take care of us. They asked for intercession with the Lord. No matter how tough the days ahead may get and how much might be taken away, they cannot take away things like our avenue of prayer. Daniel prayed just like he always did even after it was unlawful to do so. It’s good advice to seek the Lord about the way we should walk and the things we should do.
The Lord knows the times. He knows what we’ll face but this request should top the list: show me the way to walk and show me what you want me to do. Jeremiah responded “I have heard you.” God hears us and knows what to do. He’ll tell us and not hold back. Jeremiah told the people he would go to God for them. I’m thankful for all you do for me, but I’m most thankful that you pray for me. When we go to God for each other, we stand together even when we are apart. God will come through and show us the way. The people responded 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. Others may let us down. The government may let us down. God will never let us down. They said 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. We need this resolve. The Hebrew children didn’t beat around the bush in their refusal to bow down to the image of the king. We need that dedication. We feel small, but we can be faithful. Jeremiah never won one soul but he stayed true to God.
When the people were allowed to return to Israel after captivity, they found the remnant still there. When the enemies of our time run their course and are in the lake of fire, we’ll still be around. We’ll live on. We can if we trust the Lord.