Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Jeremiah 42: A Hard Heart and a Broken Promise

Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.”
-Jeremiah 42:5-6

Let me tell you the story behind the above quote. The Babylonians had conquered Israel (including Judah) as Jeremiah had predicted. A man named Johanan was now the leader of the Israelites after a brief civil war. They wondered what their next move should be, so they consulted with Jeremiah. As you can see, they promised to follow whatever the Lord told them to do.

Jeremiah prayed to God and received a word from Him. God’s instructions: Remain in the promise land. Do not flee to Egypt to escape the King of Babylon. Stay where you are and I’ll protect you; leave and you will be destroyed.

How did the people respond?
When Jeremiah had finished giving this message from the Lord their God to all the people, Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other proud men said to Jeremiah, “You lie! The Lord our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt! Baruch son of Neriah has convinced you to say this, because he wants us to stay here and be killed by the Babylonians or be carried off into exile.”
-Jeremiah 43:1-3

The people fled to Egypt, carrying Jeremiah with them. Jeremiah placed two stones near the Pharaoh’s palace and prophesied that the King of Babylon would come and have a throne at the very place he had placed the stones (Jeremiah 43:9-11). Their attempt to hide was futile—they would be slaughtered.

God’s people were so hard-headed! Sadly enough, the same thing still happens today.

I must admit that I have been the hard-head myself. There have been times when God made His instructions clear to me, but I wanted to do it my way. I’ve always ended up regretting my decisions when I did not listen to Him.

I’ve also seen this in the lives of my students. Sometimes they will ignore wise, biblical advice and instead listen to their friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, etc (who tell them what they want to hear). This is especially true with relationship advice. Whenever this happens, I know this student will regret his/her decision. He/She will come to me in tears some day. Regardless, there’s not much I can do.

Are you following God’s instruction once He has made it clear?


  1. According to John 15:16 you did not choose me, but I chose you
    1. Does God chose all the people under the sun? or selected some of them?
    2. Why some of the could not hear the gospel before they die? It means that God did not choose them?
    3. According to the Genesis, God choose us before we were born, then how to interpret some of the people never became Christian? or never had chance to hear the gospel?

  2. There are a lot of the God under the sun. For example, Buddhism, catholic, fortune teller, Hindoo.
    Then how can u know your god is a right god and which one is a true one?

  3. Remember that John 15:16 was addressed to Jesus’ disciples. I think it is unwise to apply this verse to salvation.

    I believe the invitation to salvation is open to all. Some would disagree with me on this. I think we will never understand How God controls everything, yet we have freedom to choose.

    It is not my job to figure out what happens to those who never hear the gospel–it is my job to make sure everyone does hear.

    Jesus made exclusive claims in John 14:6. Jesus Christ is unique among all others (religious leaders, etc). Hopefully you have experienced what He can do in your life.

    Anonymous, I enjoy your questions, but it would be nice if you would email me.

  4. good morning,

    thank you very much for sending “spiritual foods”.

    i really appreciate it.

    regarding this message,

    sad to say, it is really true that most of the “christians” do not obey the voice of the Lord..and when their situations becomes worse, they ask the Lord why or even blame the Lord for their wrong decisions..

    personally, i’ve been in a situation that i chose not to obey God and it was not good. it brought me many problems almost in all areas. i’ve learned that the most SECURE place is being in the hands of God, LIVING IN OBEDIENCE to His will…

    let’s be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, not to the voice of our flesh..

    be blessed!!!

    -rodette jane-

  5. In my own perspective GOd chose to whom He will reveal HImself. Take a look Pharaoh God hardened his heart so that His greatness will be known. Salvation is for everyone but then just few people just responded to HIs calling to follow Jesus Christ and guess some reasons are spiritual blindness, pride, family thats the barrier that coming on following HIm.
    TO those people or nation that doesnt have any chance to know the gospel time for us (believers) to go to that nation and proclaim the gospel.:-)Our great commission is to Matt 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples in all nation baptizing them in the name of the Father, The son and the Holy spirit and teach gto obey everything that I have commanded you. And surely i am with you always to thevery end of age. We must have the love in our heart to compel us in reaching for the lost people to the ends of the earth.

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