Read Jeremiah 43
Focus on verse 5-7
We make choices every day. Some are fairly inconsequential, like whether to wear matching socks or which route to take to get to work, while others have life long or even eternal ramifications. Joni Erickson Tada made a choice when she was a teenager to dive into a pool of water that turned out to be too shallow. That choice changed the course of her life as she lives to this day as a quadriplegic on account of that choice. She is one of the many examples of people who have learned to accept the consequences and as a result been able to make the most of them. If you have ever heard her testimony you will know that she has learned how to be grateful even for her accident. Though she admits it was not easy, she has come to realize that God used her accident to prepare her to do what she never could have done if she had not had that experience.
In today’s reading we see the few people that remain in Judah after the Babylonian invasion make a collective choice to flee to Egypt despite God’s clear warning of what will happen if they made that choice. This was a deliberate choice to disobey God. They apparently justified the choice in their own minds by accusing Jeremiah of lying to them about what God’s command was, but I suspect they knew in their own hearts it was true…they just chose to do their own thing anyway.
This again is not unlike the way we often choose to justify our own disobedience. It can be packaged in a variety of colors, but the motive inside is generally the same…we want to do our own thing. We want it OUR way, and God, in His grace and wisdom allows us to make that choice. If He did not – it would be impossible for us to truly choose to obey Him. Obedience in only possible if disobedience is an option; if disobedience is not an option, then our action is not obedience it is coercion. Therefore, it has to be a choice, and God, again, in His grace and wisdom, gives us the command to be obedient, but leaves us with the option to choose knowing that we will at some point most likely disappoint Him.
Fortunately, He also created a plan of redemption so that we are not eternally screwed over by our bad choices. It begins with repentance, which is followed by forgiveness resulting in redemption, and it is all only possible because of what Jesus Christ did for us by dying on the cross and rising from the grave. The best choice I ever made was to accept His forgiveness…like I said at the beginning. It’s always a choice.