Jeremiah 42

* Johanan desires Jeremiah to ask counsel of God. (1-6) They are

assured of safety in Judea, but of destruction in Egypt. (7-22)

1-6 To serve a turn, Jeremiah is sought out, and the captains

ask for his assistance. In every difficult, doubtful case, we

must look to God for direction; and we may still, in faith, pray

to be guided by a spirit of wisdom in our hearts, and the

leadings of Providence. We do not truly desire to know the mind

of God, if we do not fully resolve to comply with it when we

know it. Many promise to do what the Lord requires, while they

hope to have their pride flattered, and their favourite lusts

spared. Yet something betrays the state of their hearts.
7-22 If we would know the mind of the Lord in doubtful cases,

we must wait as well as pray. God is ever ready to return in

mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who

rely on his promises. He has declared enough to silence even the

causeless fears of his people, which discourge them in the way

of duty. Whatever loss or suffering we may fear from obedience,

is provided against in God's word; and he will protect and

deliver all who trust in him and serve him. It is folly to quit

our place, especially to quit a holy land, because we meet with

trouble in it. And the evils we think to escape by sin, we

certainly bring upon ourselves. We may apply this to the common

troubles of life; and those who think to avoid them by changing

their place, will find that the grievances common to men will

meet them wherever they go. Sinners who dissemble with God in

solemn professions especially should be rebuked with sharpness;

for their actions speak more plainly than words. We know not

what is good for ourselves; and what we are most fond of, and

have our hearts most set upon, often proves hurtful, and

sometimes fatal.

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