Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land.
And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Yesterday, we learned of the opposition facing Jeremiah, the proclaimer of God’s will to the people and also the rising opposition against Peter, John, and the apostles.
In today’s reading, the Judeans who were left after the murder of Gedaliah, Babylonian governor of Judah, came to Jeremiah and asked him to inquire of the Lord as to what they should do. Jeremiah tells them… (and I paraphrase), “WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT GO TO EGYPT!!! Stay in Judah, and God will continue to protect and provide for you, but DO NOT GO TO EGYPT, OR ELSE YOU WILL DIE!”
So they went to Egypt.
Poor Jeremiah… He was dragged away by the apostate people he had loved and ministered to so faithfully. He was dragged to Egypt to watch the last of the Judeans perish.
But what of Peter and John? Their first response in the face of opposition was prayer…
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus (Acts 4:29-30).
Boom. That’s what you do in the face of opposition. You obey. And when you pray, you ask God to help you obey.
We can learn so much from these two scenes… What happened to the Judeans when they refused to listen to God’s word and rationalized their disobedience by calling Jeremiah a liar??? …they were destroyed in Egypt. Utter destruction is the final end of disobedience.
Whereas obedience leads to life. In Acts, the faith and obedience of Peter, John and the others resulted in the multiplication of the Kingdom, the expansion of the church, the increase of new converts. In other words, their obedience changed the world!
Bottomline: Disobedience leads to death. Obedience leads to life. Which do you choose?