Tag: we will obey
Scripture reading for August 15th: Jeremiah 40-45
“Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” Jeremiah 42:1-3
These Jews were scared and feared the wrath of Babylon because their Babylonian appointed leader, Gedaliah, had been assassinated. They were thinking about fleeing to Egypt but decided to seek a word from the Lord. They approached Jeremiah and asked him to pray for them to “your God”. That’s not a very encouraging sign! As a minister, many people want you to pray for them and are thankful when you do. Sometimes I wonder why they are not praying themselves. Other times I wonder if they are asking something similar to these Jews who asked Jeremiah to pray.
After this group promised Jeremiah to abide faithfully by what the Lord would say, he agreed to seek the Lord. They said the right words and seemed so sincere. They promised to do whatever was asked that it might go well with them. (Jeremiah 42:5-6) As Jeremiah prayed over their request, ten days passed before the answer came. He called the Jews together to hear the Lord’s directions. He made them very clear and presented an obvious choice that did not take a genius to figure out the preferred decision! If they would stay in the land, God would plant them and build them up. He would protect them from the King of Babylon and show them great compassion. (Jeremiah 42:10-12) However, if they did not obey and chose to go down to Egypt, what they feared would overtake them and they would surely die by the sword, famine and plague! (Jeremiah 42:13-18) Just to help them out, Jeremiah emphasizes to them the right choice, “Do not go to Egypt.” (Jeremiah 42:19)
You would think that a people who wanted prayer and God’s word of direction and promised to obey would easily find the right answer. However, their words and actions were not really sincere because their hearts were not right with the Lord. They had no fear of the Lord or His holy word. They accused the prophet of lying and that God had not spoken through him or sent him! (Jeremiah 43:2-7) They proceeded to gather up everyone and head for Egypt! This is the mystery of iniquity in the heart of sinful man. Why would a people who knew God’s word and the penalty for disobedience choose to disobey and die? There is no logical answer!
As you think about this story today, examine your own life and check out your heart. Have you sought the Lord for something you know is not God’s will? When a man or woman of God gives you truth that you disagree with do you go ahead and do your own thing? Is the Lord “your God” or does He belong to others?