Friday 1, November 2013
Bible Passage(s): Jeremiah 43: 1 - 13
Memory Verse: '' O remnant of Judah, the LORD has told you, 'Do not go to Egypt.' Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, 'Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.'' Jeremiah 42:19-20
Going down to Egypt connotes different things to different people, particularly Israel and their progenitors - Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the days of Israel's forebears, Egypt was
seen as a place of safety and deliverance from famine and pestilence. As such many of them gravitated towards it. However, the outcome of going down to Egypt is determined by obedience to the word of God. Going down to Egypt requires hearing from God and obeying Him. The story in our reference text is about the request of the remnant of Israel to Prophet Jeremiah to seek the face of God on their behalf saying: \"Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.\" Jer 42:2-3. But when the reply did not agree with their expectation and desire, they took things into their hands and went down to Egypt.
When Abraham went to Egypt on his own, he suffered indignities. Isaac was obedient and heeded the word of God not to go down to Egypt. Same with Jacob, as the Lord used it as a means of preserving the Israelites and preparing his people to enter their inheritance, which He prepared before hand in His covenant with Abraham. See what God told Jacob in Genesis 46: 3-4. ''So He said, \"I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes.''
The remnants in the days of Jeremiah, rejected the word of God and they suffered the consequences. In our world today, going down to Egypt can be seen as our craze for wealth and material acquisition at the detriment of the larger society; seeking for power to corner accruable benefits not realising and fulfilling the purpose of God for placing us in such positions. But seeing it only as a means of escape and security. Don't get me wrong, 'making it' is not absolutely wrong, once it is by the ordination of God for the fulfillment of His purpose on earth. But when we neglect the purpose of God for our need to go down to Egypt and see it as a means of liberating ourselves and getting personal benefits for ourselves alone, we miss the point.
Many believers have today gone down to Egypt on their own and are 'making it'. My admonition for us this month is to seek God and let Him show you the way to go, so that in your desire to seek safety and security, you do not put yourself in everlasting chains and bondage. As Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-19, I say the same to you this month, do not to be arrogant nor put your hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but put your hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Do good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In this way you will lay up treasure for yourself as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that you may take hold of the life that is truly life. The Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore. Amen. Have a glorious and great month.
Prayer(s) for the Month
1. The Bible says we should give thanks in all things. Thank the Lord for whatever your situation and experience might have been in the last month, trusting that your life and future are in His hands and He will bring you to the end which He has designed for you.
2. Pray that His eyes will watch over you, that His hands will guide you, His grace will be upon you and His peace will be your daily experience throughout this month.