Wednesday, February 28, 2018

When HE Speaks to Your Heart

"Please inquire of the LORD on our behalf, for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is warring against us; perhaps the LORD will deal with us according to all His wonderful acts, so that the enemy will withdraw from us."

Jeremiah 21:2
Taken out of context, the above request sounds completely reasonable. Appropriate, even.
I mean, who wouldn't - who shouldn't - call upon the LORD and trust in all His wonderful acts in a time of desperate need?
Who shouldn't call on the wonderful acts of the LORD in a time of desperate need?
I'll tell you who.
Someone with an unrepentant heart who has been ignoring God's call to turn from "his" wickedness for the past 20 chapters. Someone who suddenly thinks the LORD is wonderful, though he has been among those forsaking God and worshiping idols. Someone who seems to only want to seek God now that the devastation about which HE warned, over and over again, is coming to pass. That's who!
Ahhh, but such is the circumstance we read about in Jeremiah, chapter 21.
King Zedekiah, sending Jeremiah to the priest to inquire of the LORD. Even though Jeremiah had already been faithfully proclaiming the word of the LORD for years. Over and over again, he prophesied to the people that they needed to return to the LORD whom they had forsaken. They needed to stop worshiping idols, building altars, sacrificing their children - or else, God was going to bring devastation on them from the north. But the people didn't listen. In fact they sought to take Jeremiah's life because they so despised the message he delivered.
And NOW the king thinks he can simply "inquire of the LORD" and all his troubles will be removed?


On the one hand, I am shocked and sickened that a people could treat the LORD so frivolously. I am angered that they could mock Him so: Ignoring His holiness and His call to treat Him as such, yet cozying up to Him and calling out His "wonderful acts" when they need them.
On the other hand, I guess nothing has changed. And maybe that's why I find this study of Jeremiah so disturbing - because the things the people of Judah did to dishonor God are the same things I see in the world today. We may not be building altars to Baal, or burning our children in sacrifices - but we are surely forgetting God. We are doing what is right in our own eyes, we are worshiping many things rather than the One True God, like the prophets in Judah - we proclaim, "Peace, peace," where there is no peace, and we are sacrificing our children in other ways.
All the while declaring that a "loving God" would never send anyone to Hell.
Presuming upon His grace without surrendering our ways to Him.
Acting like we know better than God how we should live in the world.
Ignoring Him.

But what is going to happen when His patience with us comes to an end?
Men and women of 2018, we must seek the LORD and follow His ways. NOW!!!


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