If you remain in this land, I will build you and not overthrow, I will plant you and not uproot; for I regret the punishment I have brought upon you.
A few days ago the prophet Jeremiah had made clear that those who remained would be destroyed. Following the Lord meant letting go and going into exile where in time the promise would be renewed.
Those left behind pleaded to God and God heard. God would bless them also, as long as they did not flee to Egypt. (check out 43:4 to find out what the people chose)
God’s mind was changed. God heard the call of the people and regretted the decision. Now a new future unfolded as long as the people were faithful to God’s new promise.
If God could regret and change direction so could we. I wonder why so many of us are so certain, about our faith, about our “beliefs,” about God. So many times in our efforts to be faithful and true to our Christian faith we become inflexible, unable to be in conversations with others with whom we might disagree, unable to hear the possibility of a different way of keeping the promise.
There are other ways, a multitude of ways, for God’s people to grow, be nurtured, and make a difference in the world.