Fleeing Egypt

by | Oct 2, 2022 | Control, God's Plans, Surrender, Will of God

It was a sad story.

All of Judah had been taken to Babylon, leaving behind only a handful of the poorest people under the leadership of Gedaliah, an appointee of Babylon. The only problem was, Gedaliah had been murdered (See Jeremiah 41)! Scared to death, all of the left-behind people were now fleeing the promised land, headed to Egypt. They figure that this will be safer for them than staying behind to face the inevitable punishment of the Babylonians for the death of their appointed leader!

There was just one problem: The prophet Jeremiah. The people did seek him out, they did beg him to tell them what they would do, and interestingly, they even promised they would do whatever Jeremiah said (“May the Lord your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! 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.” Jeremiah 42:5-6 NLT). The prophet’s response was clear: “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The Lord has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today.” (Jeremiah 42:19 NLT). Unfortunately for the people, it wasn’t what they wanted to hear: “You lie! The Lord our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt!…So Johanan and the other military leaders and all the people refused to obey the Lord’s command to stay in Judah. Johanan and the other leaders took with them all the people…The people refused to obey the voice of the Lord and went to Egypt…” (Jeremiah 43:1,4,5,7 NLT)

We’ll put a pause on the story here, because I can’t start preaching about how rebellious Israel is. Not in good conscience. You see, this is where I find myself right now!

My oldest son, a serious, god-seeking young man, is in a serious relationship with a non-Christian.

It is my worst fear come true. In my mind, he needs to end this relationship right now. Yesterday even. Okay, to be perfectly honest, it should have ended before it began! He knows the dangers of this type of a relationship. He understands it isn’t sanctioned by the Word of God!

And so I have set out to make him see his folly.

The only problem is, he has been seeking God’s guidance with this relationship! He has received a promise from God that she will be saved, and he is aware that God’s promise doesn’t specify if there will be a future for them together.

I know what you are all thinking, I’m thinking it too! You don’t date someone just to see them saved! It just doesn’t work that way! And I have set out to make him see another angle of his folly, feeling free to help him see that he totally by-passed the whole question of “should I be in this relationship”!

The only problem is, he regularly seeks God’s view of the relationship. He has taken the relationship back to the Lord numerous times, and each time the message is clear: “Stay in the relationship!”

Again, I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too. How can God sanction such a union when His Word so clearly states that it is wrong? When their differing world views is putting so much strain on them? But before we get too preachy, let’s remember the prophet Hosea. God told him to marry, not just a non-believer, but a … harlot!

Now this girl may not be a believer, but she is certainly not a harlot. And in her defence, she is actually a very sweet girl who has, by the world’s standards, very good morals. But I digress. I find myself in the position of the people who came to Jeremiah the prophet. They were sure he would tell them God was giving His blessing for them to go to Egypt. In the same way, I am sure God will tell my son to end this relationship. But God doesn’t do that. Not in either story. And just like the people of Israel ignored God’s guidance and went to Egypt, I continue to hound my son about how he should break up with his girlfriend. 

God gave me the story of Jeremiah yesterday morning, but I didn’t understand its relevance to me. Not until my son called, that is. As I — lovingly — lit into him once again about how he shouldn’t be in this relationship, he shut me up. In different circumstances I might have been upset. And maybe I was a little even then. But he began to tell me a very lengthy list of all the times he had sought God’s guidance about the relationship, along with God’s very specific answers that came directly from the Word of God!

Naturally, my pride in “parents know best” wouldn’t let it go. Not until the early hours of the morning, that is, when I couldn’t sleep. And that’s why God finally got through to me: I needed to do the following: 1) Trust God to be able to scream loud enough for my son to hear; 2) Trust my son to continually seek God’s guidance; and 3) Leave the whole situation in God’s hands. And there was one last thing I needed to do: I needed to join the battle. No, not in trying to convince him that the relationship was wrong; rather, I needed to join the spiritual battle. I needed to intercede on her behalf for her salvation. I needed to intercede on behalf of my son that he would always follow God’s guidance.

As I think about this, whenever we go against God’s voice, we are being just like Israel. We are returning to Egypt. Staying in the promised land seemed like the wrong decision for them. They were worried about the Babylonians. But the real wrong decision was going to Egypt. And going against God’s voice put them in even worse trouble (See Jeremiah 43:8-13). Whatever it is God is telling you to do, do it! Even if it defies logic, just do it! For when you do, you will be in God’s will, and He can work out His great plan through you.

I don’t know what will become of my son and his girlfriend, but I know this: My son’s job is to continually seek God’s guidance, and my only job is to continuously intercede on their behalf. Then and only then will God’s perfect will be done!

And now I have some apologizing to do to my son…

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart
Associate Director, Moderator, Answers2Prayer Ministries


Fleeing Egypt