Jeremiah 27: Submitting to God
God sent Jeremiah with a unique message in Jeremiah 27. Basically, the idea was that the people were going to be under the rule of Babylon no matter what. They now had to submit to Babylon. If they did submit, God would allow them to remain in their own land. However, if they fought back, they were going to go into captivity. It seems kind of counterintuitive, but that wasn’t the only advice that was going to the King of Judah.
Jer 27:9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10 For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
Jer 27:11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
This is purely my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth because the Bible doesn’t say, but I wonder if all of these false prophets were prophesying in this way because they knew that if Babylon took over, they would lose their positions of authority in the court if the leadership was essentially outsourced to Babylon. Since we know that their prophecy was not from God according to what God told Jeremiah, it seems very likely that it was self-serving.
Another thing to notice about this solution that God had proposed was that it involved humility. The people of Judah would have to submit to the rule of Babylon in order to make all of this happen. In fact, they had to be submissive on two levels. Obviously, they had to let Babylon be in charge, so that would be difficult from a national pride perspective. However, that was also the level where they had to surrender to the will of God. That kind of goes without saying, but if they didn’t want to be hauled off to Babylon, they had to follow God’s plan rather than whatever they wanted to follow.
Both of these things are difficult, and I think that we still struggle with them today to some extent. We don’t want to follow God always because, among many reasons, we think we can do a better job. After all, we sometimes think that we know ourselves better than anybody else can. Of course, that is false. God knows everything about us and designed us, so He knows little things about us that we have not experienced about ourselves that.
I guess the application is to remember that God has a plan, and it is our responsibility to do what we can to follow it. That is where we are supposed to be.