Fearful Flight

Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah . . . who prophesied against this city [Jerusalem] and against this land [Israel] according to all the words of Jeremiah. –Jeremiah 26:20 (NKJV)

Spiritually speaking, Urijah had a lot going for him. He prophesied in the name of the Lord, and, in sharing the message of Jeremiah, he was one of the few prophets that was actually telling the truth. Yet, despite all of this, he made a terrible decision.

And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt. Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt. And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. (Jeremiah 26:21-23 NKJV)

Fear is never a good motivation for action. When the heat was turned up on Urijah, he allowed his fears to dictate that he flee, and it cost him dearly. Not only did he lose his testimony as an unflinching and uncompromising prophet of God, but he ultimately lost the very thing he feared losing the most–his life.

Jeremiah stands in stark contrast. Though threatened with the same dangers, Jeremiah stayed put because He knew that God had planted him where he was and that flight simply was not an option (Jeremiah 1:18-19). This must have been an incredibly difficult decision, but notice how the Lord was faithful to protect His faithful servant.

Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death. (Jeremiah 26:24 NKJV)

This is a powerful lesson on the consequences of allowing fear to move us into action. When threats surround us, we shouldn’t let fear move us but, instead, stand in the center of God’s will for our lives. By doing so, we’ll preserve our testimony and prove God’s faithfulness.  

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