The Kingdom of Judah had finally collapsed, collapsed in every way—economically, militarily, socially, politically. The few surviving army officers and inhabitants of Jerusalem took flight and begged the prophet Jeremiah for God’s guidance: “‘Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.’ ‘I have heard you,’ replied Jeremiah the prophet. ‘I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested.’ . . . Ten days later the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah” (Jeremiah 42:3,4,7).
Those may have been the longest ten days of their lives. They were terrified that the Babylonians would find and destroy them. What on earth took God so long to give an answer? What could explain his dithering? Does God get confused? Is he that indecisive? Was he unaware of the vulnerability of that little flock of believers?
Have you ever had to wait for an answer to urgent prayer? Ten days? A month? A year? Ten years? Of course God hears his children. Of course he cares. Of course he has a plan, and that plan may need some time to unfold. His agenda for our personal development matters more to him than making our lives more comfortable. God told the Israelites not to fear the king of Babylon. Why? “For I am with you and will save you” (Jeremiah 42:11).
When he waits to act and answer, it’s because he’s waiting for the perfect moment.