Archive for October 25th, 2013

Jeremiah 44

Jeremiah 44 is a great lesson in life and how critical obedience is.  Jeremiah has been telling the remnant of Judah – the few left – that God wants them to stay put.  They have decided he is lying and are going to do what they want which is head to Egypt because they wrongly believe they will be protected and safe there.  God has given Jeremiah some strong words for His people now, that “this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers”.

Living well with God is not rocket science. It is all about obedience.  God was more than clear over history with His expectations and requirements.  But the leaders and people did not listen or obey.  And now God is reminding them of this yet again.  “I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets….but they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods”.  God sent many prophets throughout history and recorded in scripture to tell people exactly what to do and how to live.  But they didn’t listen.  Do you fall in that boat?

So because of God’s nature, He has to take action.  “Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out….they became a waste and a desolation”.  It happened over and over in scripture, which begs these questions directly from God “why do you commit this great evil against yourselves….why do you provoke me to anger….Have you forgotten the evil of your fathers”. History is clear.  Disobedience never ends well.  So why do we insist on living our own selfish ways and disregard what God has told us?

Here is a clue – pride.  “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”.  We think we can do better than God.  We believe we know what is best for us.  And when we put self on the throne bad things happen.  “Therefore….I will set my face against you for harm….I will take the remnant of Judah….and they shall all be consumed….they shall die by the sword and by famine….I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt….so that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to live in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive”.  Do you see this clearly?  God has set the rules.  When we choose to disobey (and it is absolutely a choice we make) there is a direct result and it isn’t good.  Our problem is pride and believing we know best and can do whatever we want.

Jeremiah boils the problem down to this: “It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day”.  Sin and disobedience cause disaster.  It is broad and widespread.  Our actions matter.  How we live and the choices we make determine what happens in life.  God is paying attention.  Grace covers our sin eternally, but it doesn’t deal with the impact of sin from a circumstantial perspective.  When we violate God’s direction and do it our way, we will live with that outcome.  How we live matters.  Are you living intentionally for Him?

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