1 Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near 2 and said to Jeremiah the prophet, “Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the Lord your God for us, for all this remnant—because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us— 3 that the Lord your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.” 4 Jeremiah the prophet said to them, “I have heard you. Behold, I will pray to the Lord your God according to your request, and whatever the Lord answers you I will tell you. I will keep nothing back from you.” 5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. 6 Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”
7 At the end of ten days the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah. 8 Then he summoned Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces who were with him, and all the people from the least to the greatest, 9 and said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your plea for mercy before him: 10 If you will remain in this land, then I will build you up and not pull you down; I will plant you, and not pluck you up; for I relent of the disaster that I did to you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not fear him, declares the Lord, for I am with you, to save you and to deliver you from his hand. 12 I will grant you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and let you remain in your own land. 13 But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God 14 and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there,’ 15 then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, 16 then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die. 17 All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no remnant or survivor from the disaster that I will bring upon them.
18 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. You shall see this place no more. 19 The Lord has said to you, O remnant of Judah, ‘Do not go to Egypt.’ Know for a certainty that I have warned you this day 20 that you have gone astray at the cost of your lives. For you sent me to the Lord your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to the Lord our God, and whatever the Lord our God says declare to us and we will do it.’ 21 And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God in anything that he sent me to tell you. 22 Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.”
So do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you.
Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.
Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.
Jeremiah did as King David did; asked for God's mercy after God told him it would not be possible. God does not change His mind about His promises to Jeremiah. God specifically promised Jeremiah, in the beginning, Jeremiah would not be defeated and overwhelmed. The Scriptures don't record the end of Jeremiah - but I am trusting he ended well.
It isn't difficult to imagine - in those 10 days - the people were unwilling to wait upon the Lord. Too many discussions of actions needed & a plan formed. God offered them mercy. Again. But they wouldn't take it. Fear was more important to them, than their promise to obey.
There are different types of fear. Jesus was kind to His disciples over uncertainty. God makes allowances for the people who have been afraid at His mighty acts. There is fear that has a reverence & seeking component - if not understanding. This passage has fear and disobedience, not looking for Godly direction.
God doesn't want us to stand in a marriage ceremony, make a vow, and then not honor it. All vows to God are important. We could talk all day about the importance of marriage vows. Yet, think of all the people who have committed to be a Godparent, in a vow, and have not honored it. Rarely in life are we asked to make a vow to God. For all the Godparents out there, time to start praying daily. You can pray for a non-praying Godparent or ex-spouse. Praying never hurts. A world in need could find this out.
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
1 Timothy 1:18-a9
18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.
Father God, help us to strengthen feeble arms and weak knees. Let us be healed from discouragement & forgetfulness. Let our prayers to You, our hope in the LORD, renew our strength. Help our prayers soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Father God, be our helper in prayer, like Jeremiah, we know our prayer is a two way conversation. In You is our faith, our hope and our love. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.