We have all heard about the boy whose mother, as punishment, told him to sit in the corner. He sat down, but protested that, inwardly, he was standing up. Rebellion comes in various forms. Years ago, in ancient Israel, God punished the rebellious people by permitting them to go into exile. Only a small group of them remained in the land. This group passively asked Jeremiah to seek God’s direction. What did God want them to do now? They declared that whatever God wanted, they would eagerly do. God’s reply: “Stay here in the land and I will build you up and not tear you down. Do not fear the king of Babylon anymore, for I am with you and will save you and rescue you from his power. I will be merciful to you by making him kind, so he will let you stay here in your land. But if you refuse to obey the LORD your God, and if you say, We will not stay here; instead we will go to Egypt where we will be free from war, the call to arms, and hunger, then hear the LORD’S message; the very war and famine you fear will catch up to you, and you will die there. You will die from war, famine, and disease. You will never see your homeland again. Sadly, these people rebelled against God’s instructions and went to Egypt anyway. The king of Babylon captured Egypt and they suffered all that God predicted. Resisting God’s will has its consequences — both then and now.
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