One would think that with the destruction of the city and the total defeat by the Babylonians, all the people would have learned their lesson. Unfortunately, not all did, and the drama wasn’t over yet.
Despite the message of peace, and even the ensuing prosperity (see Jer. 40:12), not everyone was content with the status quo.
Read Jeremiah 41:1-18. What new problems would the
remnant now face?
Though the reasons for the assassination weren’t given, the fact that it had been done by someone of the
royal family and of the officers of the king (Jer. 41:1, NKJV) suggests that these elitists still had not accepted the idea that the chosen nation needed to submit to Babylonian rule. Because Gedaliah had been put on the throne by the king of Babylon (see Jer. 40:5), these people might have seen him as a treasonous puppet who was disloyal to the nation and who therefore had to be eliminated along with his court.
As the chapter continues, we can see that this remnant now faced a new threat: fear of the Babylonians, who-perhaps not knowing the details of what happened-would seek revenge for the death of Gedaliah and the Babylonian soldiers (see Jer. 41:3).
The sins of Ishmael and his men caused fear among those who had nothing to do with those sins. What should this tell us about how, by our disobedience, we can bring pain and suffering to others, even those who had nothing to do with our sins?