Psalm for the Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Popular or Obedient???????

“Then the leaders said to the king, “Now let this man be put to death.  For he is making the hearts of the men of war weak who are left in this city, and of all the people, by saying such words to them. This man does not care about the well-being of these people, but instead wants them hurt.”

 So King Zedekiah said, “He is in your hands. The king can do nothing against you.”  So they took Jeremiah and put him into the well of Malchijah the king’s son, in the open space of the prison, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the well, but only mud. And Jeremiah went down into the mud.”    Jeremiah 38:4-6 NLV

Jeremiah gets so frustrated with God, he says, “….that’s it God. Every time I open my mouth, nothing but bad news comes out. Why can’t I have something good to share with the people?” Jeremiah wanted somebody to like him at least some of the time.

Jeremiah decides, “I will not speak up any longer for the Lord.” But then he said, “Lord why are you treating me like this. The more I try to keep my mouth shut, the more I feel this pressure building up inside of me.  It’s like a fire shut up in my bones.  I have to let it out.  God said, “Go tell those prophets they are speaking lies in My name and that I will deal with them myself.”

Sure enough, the Babylonian comes back and surrounds the city. King Zedekiah sends secretly for Jeremiah and asks, “What are the chances of the Lord giving us a miracle to defeat the Babylonians.” Jeremiah says, “There is not a chance in the world.” If you surrender yourself to the Babylonians, your lives and the lives of the soldiers will be spared.  If you do not you and your sons will be killed by the Babylonians.”

King Zedekiah knew that he had not been serving God, and he preferred the message of those around him who were saying, the Babylonians will not enter this city. Jeremiah pointed out, “why are you willing to listen to the same people who said the Babylonians would never come back to this city.”

Now the King speaks up and saves his life and the lives of many others but he does not want to pay the price of going against the political and religious leaders around him. So he chooses to believe a lie that there is another way of escape.  We see this kind of thing happening on a spiritual level all around us.

Jeremiah takes his message to the streets.  He says, “Listen people, the only way you can escape the destruction that is coming on this city, is to go over to the enemy, the Babylonians, and turn yourself in. I don’t care what you might hear, the only way for you to survive is to give up before the fighting begins otherwise you will die either by the sword, famine or the plagues that will enter the city.”

Some of the King’s powerful officials get together and go to King Zedekiah and demand that Jeremiah ought to be put to death. They said he is discouraging the soldiers and the people left in the city. The king is not willing to speak up for Jeremiah, and he told the men, “I can’t do anything to oppose you; Jeremiah is in your hands.”

They go out and grab Jeremiah and put him in a cistern. They put some ropes around him and lowered him into this well that no longer had any water in it. It has nothing but mud at the bottom. Here sits a servant of God, in this dark stinking mud, with who knows how many insects and bugs there are down there with him.   There will be no way to lie down and go to sleep. I doubt if this is what Jeremiah had envisioned when God told him, I have called you to be a prophet to the nations.

So many people think, when you walk with the Lord, everything automatically goes well in your life. Our walk with the Lord is not about how well everything is going in our lives, but rather how well we are walking with the Lord in the things that enter our lives.

Jeremiah’s crime is that when God made it plain to him what he was to do, he did it.  He had been willing to speak up for the Lord. It’s amazing how we all want to be used by God, but we want to reserve the right to object to certain parts of God’s plan for us.  Popularity is too important! 

At what point do we have the right to complain about how God is using our lives.

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