“But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, ‘You shall not do this thing, for you speak falsely concerning Ishmael.'”
After taking Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah as governor of the province of Judah. No longer living in a free state, the people would now be subject to Babylon. In order to make things as safe and comfortable as possible, Gedaliah exhorted the people to put their weapons away and serve the king of Babylon. As things began to settle, many who had fled for safety to the countryside returned to Jerusalem. Among them was a man named Ishmael, who had been a captain of the Judean forces. He was a man who publicly showed submission to Gedaliah, but privately was planning to overthrow the governor and mount a rebellion against Babylon. Some of the other leaders began to suspect Ishmael of treason and reported it to Gedaliah, who dismissed the report as false. Sadly, as the story unfolds, Ishmael will kill Gedaliah and turn the Babylonian forces, once again, on Jerusalem.
Nothing in the text gives us any real clear insight into the spiritual condition of Gedaliah. He may not have been a believer at all, or may have been a believer who simply failed to take the warning he received to the Lord. Whatever the case, his story reminds me of the failure to take things to the Lord. Had the governor taken this warning seriously, gotten alone with God or sought counsel from the prophet, he may very well have avoided death and secured the safety of his people.
As a follower of Christ, we have been given the privilege of access to God. Jesus is our heavenly counselor who seeks to guide us, as we navigate our way through life. When we face obstacles, difficulty or indecision, we don’t have to lean upon our own understanding, but can seek counsel from God. Whatever you are facing, don’t go it alone. Take some time today to seek guidance from the Lord. Who knows what pitfalls a little time of prayer may help you avoid.