Jeremiah 43

It is common for unhumbled men who persist in sin to represent those who speak God’s word as grafters having designs for themselves.
However, this does not change the Word of God,
and those who think to better themselves by going contrary to the Scriptures will come to ruin.

1 And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,

2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:

3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.

4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.

5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah;

6 Even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.

7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.

8 ¶ Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying,

9 Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;

10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.

11 And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.

12 And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace.

13 He shall break also the images of Beth-shemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.

Jeremiah 43:3—Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us.

​   When men do not like the Word of God, they imagine that someone has set the speaker on against them. A poor woman came to us a few weeks ago, in a terrible condition. She had induced her husband to come to a service, and the address seemed so exactly adapted to him, dealing with his sins in the plainest terms, that nothing could convince him that she had not given the preacher a full and detailed account of his life, and had set the speaker on against him. When they got home he ill-treated her with great cruelty. But that service and her patient suffering were ultimately overruled to work a great change in him.
   How strange it is that ungodly men always think the Word of God is against them, whereas they are set against it! The wind would not be so keen in their teeth, if they were not steaming so quickly against it.
   But there is a solemn lesson here for us all. Whenever the Word of God makes us wince, or God’s messenger presses sorely on us, we are apt to turn aside the point by some superficial and unreasonable excuse. We catch up the first foil we can lay hands on, in order to ward off the missile. We find some excuse to blunt the edge of the sword. It is easy to impute a bad and personal motive. There is always a Baruch the son of Neriah in the question. It is not we who are wrong, but the prophet who is prejudiced against us. As Ahab said of Micaiah (1 Kings 22:8), “I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil.” We can only grow in the divine life by exposing ourselves to the reproofs and searchings of the divine Word; and allowing them their due weight. —Our Daily Homily