(I’m also going to take 3 chapters, since 45 is tiny).
As the story continues from yesterday, the poor are wanting to go to Egypt for safety, even though the LORD led Nebuchadnezzar to assign these people with land and let them be (39:10). They check with Jeremiah, to ask God, and He reiterates, “yes, stay where you are and you’ll be fine.” (42:10) But the people are frightened, and a little more than skeptical of this plan. They hear Egypt is the place to be, that other Israelites have been fine there, and so they go against the warnings of the LORD.
This is foolishness, because of course the LORD sees everything from beginning to end and knows what’s about to go down in Egypt, plus what sort of discipline He has long prepared for His disobedient children. He says over and over what will happen if they go back to Egypt.
(Side-note: Egypt has always been a sort of symbol of national security for Israel, thinking government-might can care for them more than God can. See Deuteronomy 17:16 and Psalm 20:6-7)
Of course it’s easy to look at Israel and call them foolish, while I give myself stomach ulcers, stressing about what next steps to take in ministry. There’s always the temptation to get out and find a “real job” or choose the perceived “path of least resistance”, but He is the One doing the actual worth-while things and making impossible things happen. (It also makes me chuckle how some could feel it wise, or safer, to hunker down in America and close our boarders, while I’ve never felt nervous, or in danger, working with Muslims in Europe and they are concerned for me whenever I’m in too-many-mass-shootings-America!)
The best safest place to be is right where God has told you to stand. It’s also in our best interest to never react, or make a hasty decision, out of fear, but always wait for His instruction.
Let’s not forget the end of chapter 46, which reminds us that the LORD never sweeps away the righteous few with the unrighteous majority. He corrects, but then He restores, and He is always with.