The Scriptorium

Out of the Frying Pan...

Jeremiah has a Word from the Lord about Egypt. Jeremiah 43.8-13

Judgment in Egypt: Jeremiah 43-45 (2)

Pray Psalm 2.11, 12.

Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

Sing Psalm 2.11, 12.
(Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!)
Rejoice with fear in Jesus’ grace,
and worship before His exalted face!
Beware His anger and judgment grim:
How blessed are all who rest in Him!

Read and meditate on Jeremiah 43.8-13.

1. What did God instruct Jeremiah to do?

2. What did this action signify?

The people who fled to Egypt under the leadership of Johanan simply did not trust God. They would not listen to Jeremiah, and so, thinking they were leaving the “frying pan” of Judah and Jerusalem, to escape the fire of Nebuchadnezzar, they came to Tahpanhes, and the court of Pharaoh, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief (v. 8).

But while they were running furiously away from God, God was still in their midst, in the person of Jeremiah. And Jeremiah had a message for Johanan and the others: The fire was coming to Tahpanhes, and no one would escape (vv. 9-12).

Once again, Jeremiah was led to use objects to reinforce his message. Here he was instructed to hide large stones in the courtyard outside the palace of Pharaoh in Tahpanhes, explaining that Nebuchadnezzar would come and set up his throne on top of these stones (vv. 9, 10). The people who heard him would undoubtedly have seen those stones from time to time, and they would be reminded of the Word of God against them.

You can try to avoid the Word of God, or to remake it to suit your desires, or simply to deny and ignore it. But the Word of God is always with us, and He continually reminds us of His Presence in all of creation. His Word will not fail, and only those who trust in Him can expect to avoid the judgment that comes from failing to hear and heed His Word.

Jesus is a Rock of salvation and a Stone of stumbling, hidden in full view in the clay vessels of His people (2 Cor. 4.7). Our duty is to show and tell Jesus to the watching world, so that, no matter where they go, they can never escape His Presence and the Good News of His Kingdom. Those who take their stand on Him will rule with Him in His Kingdom; those who refuse to heed His Word will stumble over Him into the fires of eternal damnation. Jeremiah was faithful in setting up the stones God appointed for Him. Let us be likewise faithful in holding out the Rock of salvation to the people in our lives.

1. How do the stones Jeremiah set in place witness to us about our calling?

2. How are we like those stones to the people we see each day?

3. Why must we be faithful like Jeremiah in our calling as witnesses for the Lord?

We now understand the drift of the whole, even that these stones were thrown into the cement, that God might build up a throne for Nebuchadnezzar. The time, indeed, for building the throne had not yet come; but God's purpose was to lay the foundations, so that they might be hid until the time arrived. The Prophet, then, built a throne for Nebuchadnezzar, when he cast; these stones into the place of the brick-kiln. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Jeremiah 43.8-13

Use me as Your witness today, Lord Jesus, as I…

Pray Psalm 2.1-10.

God’s answer to the world’s rebellion is Jesus on His throne. Ask God to show you how to seek the Kingdom and righteousness of Jesus in everything you do today.

Sing Psalm 2.1-10.
Psalm 2.1-10 (Agincourt: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High!)
Why do the nations vainly rage,
conspiring together from age to age?
Earth’s kings and all of their counselors stand
against the Lord and His Right Hand:

“Now let us cast His yoke below,
His Kingdom authority overthrow!
Throw off His Law, reject His Word;
no more be governed by this Lord!”

The Lord in heaven laughs in wrath
at all who embark on this cursèd path.
His angry Word to them is plain:
“Yet shall My King in Zion reign!”

Proclaim the message far and wide,
that God has exalted the Crucified!
From heav’n He sent us His only Son,
Who has for us salvation won.

To Christ the Lord be given all
who humbly embrace Him and on Him call.
Be wise, be warned: His judgment comes
to break the prideful, sinful ones.

T. M. Moore

You can also now listen to a weekly summary of our daily Scriptorium study. Click here for Jeremiah 39-42. You can also download for free all the weekly studies in this series on the book of Jeremiah by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All quotations from Church Fathers from
Ancient Christian Commentary Series, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006). All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (available by clicking here).

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore