1 Now in the seventh month, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, ten men with him, came to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, at Mizpah; and there they ate together in Mizpah. 2 Then Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, got up and struck down Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword, and killed the one whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land. 3 Ishmael also killed all the Jews that were with him, with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, also the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war.
- At Gedaliah’s appointment as governor he had told these men to live in the land and serve the Chaldeans and it would go well for them: three months later they came and killed him.
- God sent a man, Johanan, to warn him, but Gedaliah called the man a liar.
- Baalis, king of the Ammonites, sent Ishmael to murder Gedaliah (Jeremiah 40:14, 15, 16).
- Gedaliah didn’t consult God.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and do not lean to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.
- Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
4 And the second day after he had killed Gedaliah, and no man knew it, 5 certain men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, eighty men, having their beards shaved, their clothes torn, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring to the house of the LORD. 6 And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and as he met them, he said to them, Come to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam. 7 When they came into the midst of the city, Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, killed them and threw them into the middle of the pit, he, and the men that were with him. 8 But ten men were found among them that said to Ishmael, Do not kill us: for we have treasures in the field: wheat, barley, oil, and honey. So he held back, not killing them with their brothers. 9 Now the pit where Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had killed because of Gedaliah, was the one that king Asa had made for fear of Baasha, king of Israel: and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, filled it with those that were killed.
- Notice that scripture says plainly that these men were killed because of Gedaliah.
- Gedaliah didn’t ask God.
- He trusted the goodness of man.
- He was their leader and led many to death.
- The Lord keeps those who follow Him from the pit.
- Job 33:24 Then he is gracious to him, and says, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
- Psalm 30:3-4 O LORD, you have brought up my soul from the grave: you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing to the LORD, O you saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
10 Then Ishmael took captive all the remainder of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites.
- These people weren’t given a choice.
- They didn’t follow freely; they were taken captive.
God sent a deliverer to these people who were disobeying God
11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had done, 12 Then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon. 13.Now when all the people that were with Ishmael saw Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, they were glad. 14 So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned around and went back to Johanan, the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites. 16 Then Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the army that were with him, took all the remaining the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after he had killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, mighty men of war, plus the women, the children, and the eunuchs whom he had brought again from Gibeon: 17 And they departed, and lived in the inn of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, in order to proceed to Egypt, 18 because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.
- The Jews have been forbidden since the Exodus to return to Egypt.
- Was God strong enough to save and protect them?
- Then why weren’t they trusting in Him?
- They just saw Him deliver them from the invading Chaldean army.
- He left them in their own land and promised them safety if they would do what He said.
- Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- Psalm 91:1-7 He that dwells in the secret place of the most High will abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. 3 Surely he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will trust: his truth will be your shield and buckler. 5 You will not be afraid for the terror by night; or for the arrow that flies by day; 6 Or for the pestilence that walks in darkness; or for the destruction that wastes at noonday. 7 A thousand will fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you.
1 Then all the captains of the army, and Johanan, the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near, 2 And said to Jeremiah the prophet, Please accept our humble appeal, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant; (for we are but a few left of many, as your eyes see:) 3 That the LORD your God may show us the way to go, and what to do. 4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray to the LORD your God according to your words; and whatever the LORD answers, I will declare it to you; I will keep nothing back from you.
- Their leader has been assassinated and they had been taken captive by the assassin and then rescued by the Johanan, the leader of the army. So they asked Jeremiah to pray to God for guidance.
- Psalm 48:14 For this God is our God forever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.
5 Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do all things that the LORD your God sends to us. 6 Whether it is good, or whether it is evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send you; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. 7 And after ten days, the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah.
- Proverbs 15:3 The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
- Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
The Lord is with us to save us and deliver us from the hand of evil
8 Then he called Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the army that were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, 9 And said to them, The LORD, the God of Israel says this, to whom you sent me to present your humble appeal before him; 10 If you will still dwell in this land, then I will build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I turn myself back from the evil that I have done to you.
- Remember God allowed them to reap the fruit of their own disobedience after 861 years of warnings.
11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him, says the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will show mercies to you, that he may have mercy on you, and cause you to return to your own land.
- Matthew 6:13 lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
- Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
13 But if you say, We will not dwell in this land, nor obey the voice of the LORD your God, 14 saying, No; we will go into the land of Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet, or hunger for food; and we will live there: 15 Now hear the word of the LORD, you remnant of Judah; The LORD of armies, the God of Israel says this; If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to sojourn there; 16 Then it will come to pass, that the sword, which you feared, will overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, of which you were afraid, will follow close behind you there in Egypt; and there you will die. 17 This will happen to all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them will remain or escape from the evil that I will bring on them. 18 For the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; As my anger and my fury has been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so will my fury be poured out on you, when you enter into Egypt: and you will be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and you will see this place no more.
- God promised to bring the evil they feared on them if they disobeyed.
- If they trust Egypt rather than the One who delivered them from Egypt, He would pour out His fury on their disobedience.
- Their choice would be death rather than life and they would be leading their children to death also.
19 The LORD has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah; Do not go down to Egypt: know certainly that I have testified against you this day. 20 For you used deceit against your souls, when you sent me to the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us to the LORD our God; and we will do all that the LORD our God says, so declare to us. 21 And now this day I have declared it to you; but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor anything for which he has sent me to you. 22 Now know certainly that you will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place where you desire to go and to sojourn.
- If we disobey the Lord our Maker there are consequences.
- If mankind doesn’t obey God by believing in Jesus Christ, they will eternally suffer the promised consequence of eternal hell (John 3:16-18).
- If these believers do not obey and stay in the land they will die by the sword and famine.
- What these people lacked was knowledge of God.
- Their circumstances were more real than the God who was with them and promised to protect and bless them.
- The solution to this problem was knowledge of God through His word.
- If you want faith to believe what God says, learn His word. It builds faith in our hearts.
- Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
- Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
1 Now it happened when Jeremiah had finished speaking to all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words, 2 Then Azariah, the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, spoke to Jeremiah saying, You are lying: the LORD our God has not sent you to say, Do not go into Egypt to sojourn there: 3 But Baruch, the son of Neriah, sets you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, to put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon. 4 So Johanan, the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
- The voice of evil is always present, as is the truth from God.
- Just like Eden, we choose, and then live with the consequences.
- God can’t bless if we don’t believe. In Eden man disbelieved God, the way back to God is to believe His voice.
- 2 Corinthians 5:7(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
God warned them that He would bring Nebuchadnezzar all the way to Egypt to judge them
5 But Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah that had returned from all nations where they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah, 6 the men, women, children, the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard/chief executioner had left with Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch, the son of Neriah. 7 So they came into the land of Egypt: they did not obey the voice of the LORD: so they came to Tahpanhes. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 Take great stones in your hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln that is at the entrance of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah; 10 And say to them, The LORD of armies, the God of Israel says this; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne on these stones that I have hid; and he will spread his royal pavilion over them. 11 And when he comes, he will strike the land of Egypt, and deliver those that are for death to death, those that are for captivity to captivity, and those that are for the sword to the sword. 12 And I will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; and he will burn them, and carry them away captives: and he will wrap himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd wraps himself with his garment; and he will go out from there in peace. 13 He will also shatter the images of Beth-she'mesh, that are in the land of Egypt; and he will burn with fire the temples of the gods of the Egyptians.
- They feared Nebuchadnezzar and trusted Egypt.
- God judged the false gods of Egypt, the false things they trusted.
- He judges the false things we trust.
- Psalm 96:5For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
God hates it when we worship false things
1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who live in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying, 2 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; You have seen all the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, and on all the cities of Judah; behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwells there, 3 because of their wickedness that they committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they did not know, neither they, you, nor your fathers. 4 However I sent to you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate.
- God has so much good and blessing for everyone on earth.
- Yet we live lives of turmoil, despair, and war because we do not follow and obey His words.
- He hates all the ruin that idolatry causes.
5 But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to not burn incense to other gods. 6 Therefore my fury and my anger was poured out, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate this day. 7 Now the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Why do you commit this great evil against your souls, to cut off out of Judah man and woman, child and suckling, to leave none to remain; 8 in that you provoke me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you have gone to live, that you might cut yourselves off, and that you might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? 9 Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, that they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They are not contrite even to this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.
- God puts the blame where it belongs. We do it to ourselves. He wants only to bless.
He sets His face against evil to cut it off
11 Therefore the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says this; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah. 12 And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they will all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they will be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they will die, from the least to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they will be an execration, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach. 13 For I will punish those that dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: 14 So that none of the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, will escape or remain, to return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there: none will return except those that escape.
- To escape punishment for our sins we believe in Jesus Christ.
- That is the obedience that God requires for salvation.
- Then we learn God’s word and walk by faith in His promises for blessing in this life.
15 Then all the men that knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, 16 As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will certainly do whatever goes out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven, and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings to her and made her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her, was it without our men?
- These people had just seen the truth of God’s words through Jeremiah on Judah and Jerusalem.
- The army of the Chaldean’s did come to fight against them. They took captive nearly all the people.
- But just like the Pharoah of the Exodus who saw God’s power ten times, they would not believe.
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men, to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, 21 The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you, your fathers, your kings, your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and did it not come into his mind? 22 So that the LORD could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations that you have committed; therefore is your land desolate, an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant this day. 23 Because you have burned incense, and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened to you, as at this day.
- Their actions led to eternal death.
- Physical murder cuts off a life of 70-100 years. That is nothing compared to eternal murder that cuts off a wonderful forever.
- Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
- 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
24 Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people, and to all the women, Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah that are in the land of Egypt: 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel says; you and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her: you will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows. 26 So hear the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says the LORD, that my name will no more be spoken in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD lives.
- His holy name will no longer be in their mouths along with the names of their idols.
- Death stinks. Idols bring death.
- God is life. Who can measure infinite genius, infinite power, infinite love?
- The plagues God sent on Egypt at the time of the Exodus displayed God’s power over all things and all the false gods that they worshipped.
27 Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt will be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there is an end of them. 28 Yet a small number that escape the sword will return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, will know whose words will stand, mine, or theirs.
- Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
29 And this will be a sign to you says the LORD, that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that my words will surely stand against you for evil: 30 The LORD says; Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.
- They were trusting Pharoah instead of God.
- By giving Pharoah into the hand of his enemies God said to them, Wake up, I’m God. Follow me, trust me.
- 1 Timothy 6:15 Who in his times he will show, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
- Revelation 17:16 And he has on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
- God sent a deliverer to these people who were disobeying God
- The Lord is with us to save us and deliver us from the hand of evil
God warned them that He would bring Nebuchadnezzar all the way to Egypt to judge them
- God hates it when we worship false things
- He sets His face against evil to cut it off