Jeremiah 42:11-12 NKJV Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,’ says the LORD, ‘for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. (12) And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.’
Have you ever done something or said something only to immediately gasp and think, “What have I done?” Jeremiah is speaking to a group of soldiers and their men that were probably thinking the same thing. These guys had really gotten themselves in a pickle and were afraid of a major blowback from the king of Babylon, having committed a major crime against him by killing his appointed governor to the region. Now they were living on the run, tormented by fear and second guessing every thought about what to do next.
Though I am sure none of you have been in their particular situation, many of us have done or said something and then realized it may not have been our wisest moment. Often people will get stuck in the cycle of what is going to happen next and what will I do. This cycle is perpetual and often leaves people frozen in fear because they see every possible action as having unfavorable consequences and simply want to avoid all of them.
I imagine receiving this message from Jeremiah, must have been a breath of fresh air. He told them they no longer had to fear, because God was with them to save & deliver them, showing them mercy and make sure they didn’t lose their inheritance. That is incredible… but their journey to overcome their fear really began a few verses prior in Jeremiah 42:6.
Jer 42:6 Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey Him, everything will turn out well for us.”
Their journey to escape the bondage of fear came when they made a decision that they would obey the Lord no matter what He told them to do, whether they liked it or not. Even though they had gotten themselves in a bad situation (by NOT consulting and involving the Lord), they knew that God is good, was for them, and had their best interests at heart. It was this understanding that allowed them to do whatever the Lord instructed them to do even if it meant marching home and facing the consequences of their actions. It is also this understanding that allowed them to experience peace from the onslaught of fear.
Many people quote Romans 8:2, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Yet they don’t allow God to work in their lives. They refuse to obey His written Word and ignore the voice and promptings of the Holy Spirit, because they don’t really believe that He is indeed for them and has their best interests at heart. Obedience and faith are tied together.
No matter how you got in your fearful situation, whether it was brought you by others, just happened because we live in a fallen world, is an attack of the enemy, or you did something and brought it on yourself, the Lord loves you and is for you. If you will decide to seek His will and council as to what to do, you can eradicate the fear knowing that everything will turn out well. Fear Not.