Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 41-44
Today’s Reflection: Jeremiah 43:11-13
11) He shall come and strike the land of Egypt, giving over to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword. 12) I shall kindle a fire in the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd cleans his cloak of vermin, and he shall go away from there in peace. 13) He shall break the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt, and the temples of the gods of Egypt he shall burn with fire.'”
The people of Judah attempted to flee the Chaldeans and capture by Babylon. They went to Jeremiah for counsel, and Jeremiah revealed the word God had given him: do not go to Egypt. But the insolent men (some translations call them ‘arrogant’, others ‘proud’) accused Jeremiah of lying and siding with their enemies. Against Jeremiah’s advice and the Word of the Lord, the people of Judah went to Egypt.
As they entered Pharaoh’s palace, God gave Jeremiah another revelation, telling him to say to the people that Babylon would now come against Egypt and that the children of Judah would still meet the deserved fate for their disobedience—captivity, sickness or death. But now Egypt too would be destroyed completely. The punishment meant for Judah would now afflict Egypt as well.
We often act as if sin is a personal matter—if I do something wrong it can only hurt me. But when we disobey God the effects of our actions don’t just harm us, they also harm those we come in contact with: friends, family, acquaintances, even complete strangers. Sin isn’t satisfied until it destroys everything it touches, and when we disobey God we become agents of sin’s destructive power. In everything we do we either build up people for the kingdom of God or tear them down for satan’s cause.
Choose wisely. There is no third option.
1 John 3:8 – Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
Ecclesiastes 9:18 – Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.