Nobody likes adversity. Troubles are not pleasant no matter how large or small they are; well; trouble, pain, sorrow. The problem is many of our troubles we bring on ourselves; especially when we willfully violate the law, will and word of God. Are you presently experiencing trouble, trial, sorrow, pain and grief in your life? If you are not you will. No one of us is, or for long will be without them.
The people of Jeremiah’s day were experiencing trouble. Many of the poor of Jerusalem had been left by the Babylonians to live in the land, a governor had been appointed (Jeremiah 40:5). Gedaliah was the man’s name, and there was a plot to kill him, and the plot was successful (chapter 41). It was then that the people came to the prophet, asking him to pray to the LORD to find His will about staying in the land (Jeremiah 42:1-3). It seems they had no real intention to stay. They were seeking approval for what they were planning. Read the rest of chapter 42. They wanted to go to Egypt. Many times the modern day 2017 Christian wants to go to, and stay in (Egypt) the world. Just like with Judah; it will bring trouble. Hear the word of the LORD…
Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the LORD, ‘that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “The Lord GOD lives.” Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs. And this shall 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 adversity.’ Jeremiah 44:26-29 (NKJV)
The LORD had promised to be their provision if they would stay in Jerusalem and the land (Jeremiah 42:7-12); but that was not what they wanted. Who in their right mind refuses the promise of God over the world? Sin is a powerful foe. I read a quote from and individual the other day that I had not thought about before, and it stuck with me. The quote was this, “Sometimes a believer’s greatest battle is not with Satan, but with God.” (Ron Dunn). Now, think about it. It is so true it hurts.
These words are just as powerful and true for this preacher as it is for those who read it. Looking at all of Scripture you will find God’s word to be true of our estate, our life, our sin, and unbelief.
Because of Judah’s rebellion and choosing Egypt over God and Jerusalem they were given to adversity; and God says, “…My words will surely stand against you for adversity”. Some of you are thinking, “How can God be so cruel”, and that very thought puts you in the same category as those rebellious people.
What ought we to do? First of all, hear and obey the word of the Living God; second, stay where God has put you; third, if you have already given into the world and sin repent, and turn back to God; and fourth, if you are entangled and trapped by sin get on your knees, and in grief and sorrow turn to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.