21 February 2009

Listen to My Prophet

Do we as Christians really want to hear what the Lord is saying to us? As I was going through my readings of Jeremiah, I came to the chapters of 41 to 44, and it was astounding to see the similarities of our present world to the world at the time in those chapters. We see the remnant of Judah asking Jeremiah to pray for them for this purpose: "that the LORD your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do." (Jer 42:3). Jeremiah, being the godly example for all of us, prays for these people for 10 days! And waits on the Lord for His direction for the remnant of Judah. Jeremiah proclaims the words of the Lord, but something happens as Jeremiah is speaking God's word. Remember the Lord is sovereign; the Lord knows the beginning and the end to all things; the Lord knows the hearts of mankind; He knew the people's heart and their request. Look what Jeremiah says "And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God in anything that he sent me to tell you. Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live." (Jer 42:21-22). The Lord knew that they would not follow His instructions, because they already had their minds set on going to Egypt. But you ask yourself: didn't they want Jeremiah to seek the Lord and find out what the Lord wanted them to do? Yes! They did, but they didn't like the answer they were given from God's prophet, so they did what the natural man knows best: 'We will do what we want to do!' Isn't that the way in our postmodern world? Isn't that what the children are being taught in our schools? It's all about self esteem and the 'ME' generation. Just turn on the T.V. You will find millions of followers watching Oprah and her new age heresy, or American Idol contestants who say "this is all I know", when they really can't sing. We live in a generation where people don't want to hear the truth or speak the truth to others, thinking that this will upset someone. People would rather do what they want; it's all about what's 'right for you', and 'me'! See, in Jeremiah's day, the remnant didn't care about what the Lord had to say. Their minds were already made up before they came to Jeremiah with their plea. This present world is no different. We do what we want to do, we go where we want to go, we don't care about anybody else but ourselves. The nation of Judah was leaning on their own understanding. The Lord said they were serving false gods, burning incense in high places, and the Lord asks them a few questions, "And now thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, infant and child, from the midst of Judah, leaving you no remnant? Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, making offerings to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live, so that you may be cut off and become a curse and a taunt among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the evil of your fathers, the evil of the kings of Judah, the evil of their wives, your own evil, and the evil of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? They have not humbled themselves even to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in my law and my statutes that I set before you and before your fathers. "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah" (Jer 44:7-11). We are to seek the wisdom from above that is pure and undefiled. We are to seek the Lord and His righteousness. We are to seek the scriptures for direction in our Christian life. We are to seek the Lord in prayer as Jeremiah did for 10 days. Remember, Jeremiah didn't know the hearts of the people; Jeremiah didn't know that they would disobey God's commands. But we do see a faithful servant unto the Lord who prayed for 10 days, and proclaimed a message of importance even when the people didn't really want to hear it, just like the church today.
"I don't like what the pastor said today.","I don't like what the Bible says about that issue.", "This doesn't apply to me!".
Look at what it says in verse 16 of chapter 44 "we will not listen to you!" We need to understand the Lord will not be fooled by His creation. The preacher may be fooled, yes, but the Lord, no. My heart grieves every time I read passages of scripture like this because I see my family, I see co-workers, I see my neighbors, and sadly, I see the local church. They are all treating the Word of God as some kind of genie in a bottle, 'it's only good when I need it'. We must obey the commands of our Lord. Why? Because He knows what is best. Remember, He breathed everything into existence. Don't be like the remnant of Judah who say one thing and mean another. We are to 'trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey'. As Jeremiah pleaded to their disobedient hearts "hear the word of the Lord" (44:24). Dear Christian - hear it, obey it, live it, and enjoy Him for all eternity. To Him be the glory....

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