A vain promise to follow the Lord

Jeremiah Bible Background

11.05.2016 – Old Testament: Jer 42.1–3

To read the Bible in a year, read Jeremiah 40–42 on November 5, In the year of our Lord 2016

By Don Ruhl

Some people seek the Lord because they have already decided that what He says will favor them, or they think that they will like what He says, even as these men did who approached Jeremiah,

Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do” (Jeremiah 42.1–3). 

The rest of the narrative shows that these men lied, although their words seemed honest and sincere. We need to get it into our heads that some people lie! They will even sound very devoted to the Lord, but they still lie.

Our response is not to be overly suspicious, but to be wise.


  • Has someone fooled you with his or her apparent humility?
  • Do you know how to be wise without being overly suspicious?

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