July 24, 2021
"Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them..."
“Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them, all these words, that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, ‘You speak falsely! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, “Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.” But Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon.’ So Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces, and all the people would not obey the voice of the Lord, to remain in the land of Judah.” Jeremiah 43:1-4
Why do you seek the Lord? A UCLA study on the rise of spirituality on college campuses showed that 87% of college students seek the Lord for what He can do for them. That means only 13% of college students pursue spirituality to learn what God requires of them. Is it any wonder that non-believers perceive Christians as being self-focused and uncaring? Of course, when we become the central focus of our worship, it is impossible to be others-. Self-focused worship is contra to the teaching of Jesus.
“Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called “benefactors.” But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.’” Luke 22:24-27
When our worship is focused on pleasing ourselves, we cease to please the Lord, Who calls us to live selflessly. And self-focused worship causes us to trust in worldly ways & means for protection & provision. (Idolatry) Selfish believers (oxymoron) refuse to see, forsaking to submit to God’s Word by merely obeying it half-heartedly.
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”’” Revelation 3:14-16
The inhabitants of Judah followed the Lord half-heartedly. They wanted His blessing but denied Him their faithfulness. That led them to trust in worldly sources (i.e., Egypt) to supply a life they believed God was either unwilling or unable to deliver. That NEVER works out well! Rescue is only found in returning to the Lord. Do not seek the Lord vainly (half-heartedly). Deliverance does not come by escaping God’s rebuke; instead, by enduring it. Surrender your whole self to His Lordship. “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up!” (1 Peter:5-6)