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.”
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.”
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?
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