Jeremiah 40:4b .... If it seems good to you to come with me to Babylon, come; but if it seems wrong to you to come with me to Babylon, do not come. .....the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please."
I was at work, on my lunch break, when I first read through this chapter. During the day, two things kept coming back to me. The first part of verse 1 ~ "The word came to Jeremiah from the LORD" and the last part of verse 4 ~ "the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please." How dangerous it would be to take these verses and put them together.
"Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you...Jeremiah 40:4b
Jeremiah has choices laid before him.....What would we choose if this offer was placed before us? How tempting it might be to just say "yes"....especially since Jeremiah had just been released from prison. You say you want to take me away from this place, and take care of me...take me to live in comfort and luxury...."yes" take me away and take me NOW. Or maybe not...I think I'll go over there...no, maybe over there.
I love that this chapter starts with telling us that Jeremiah had received a Word from the LORD. It's interesting that we aren't given the "Word from the LORD" until chapter 42...Hum, I wonder why that is? I'm reminded that prayer that comes before the choices (temptations) of life prepare us to be able to resist going the wrong direction. Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Jeremiah knows where to go for answers to the choices in life, he goes to the LORD in prayer...seeking His guidance. Proverbs 4:26 "Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure." Jeremiah had a choice placed before him: to stay and dwell with the poor in the holy land or go and live with the princes in an unholy one. Jeremiah didn't do what his flesh might have wanted to do, his desire was to know God's plan and walk in it. He can say with the Psalmist: "Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path." Psalm 44:18.
God bless your day,