Friday, June 28, 2013

What We Want

I won’t go into the full history that brings us to the 42nd chapter of Jeremiah. Be assured that Judah is in dire straits having gone through war and becoming a vassal of Chaldea. Another disastrous change of rulers was at hand. “Then all the captains of the forces” along with specific leaders come to Jeremiah with a request:

And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do. (Jeremiah 42:2-3 KJV)

Along with that request came a commitment, a promise:

Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God. (Jeremiah 42:5-6 KJV)

As our Pastor said Wednesday night during this lesson, this is very plain. No opportunity for misunderstanding.

This is the way we come to God. “Tell me what I need to do. Give me direction and I’ll do what you say.” Only, as Jeremiah knew ahead of us:

For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it. And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you. (Jeremiah 42:20-21 KJV)

We, too, dissemble in our hearts (that’s still a good word, too, in today’s dictionaries – it still means dissimulate, conceal, feign, simulate, hide, pretend.) Jeremiah knew what they would say after he gave them God’s command to stay in Judah, not to go to Egypt:

Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there: (Jeremiah 43:2 KJV)

Once again I’m brought back to a quote I used recently regarding our making God’s word say what we want:
… the whole weight of their personal desires and interests would lead them to decide the question in their own favour.
We read books others have written and substitute their words for our own understanding while reading God’s word in prayer. Heeding His word for our own lives is what we need in order to follow His will. Why trade that for a well-written book – especially if we like what it says more than we like our Bible reading.

Are we prepared to receive God’s word meant for us? Do we expect to live with it eternally? By the way – go ahead and read Jeremiah 42 and the following chapters. What happened? What was the rest of the story?

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)