Pastor’s Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 34-36
A few days ago we read how Jeremiah plead with King Zedekiah and the leaders about how to approach Babylon, but he did not listen to the wise counsel of Jeremiah. (27:1-22) When God sends a message to us, we had better learn to listen to it and obey what He says. “Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Go and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire: And thou shalt not escape out of his hand, but shalt surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and thine eyes shall behold the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with thee mouth to mouth, and thou shalt go to Babylon.” (34:2-3) God declares that the fate of both Jerusalem and Zedekiah were sealed. The story line jumps to a serious problem with the children of Judah. God takes great offence to the breaking of promises or covenants. He tells Jeremiah about Zedekiah’s, seeking God’s favor, attempts to bring Judah back into obedience to God’s commands regarding Jewish servants. Every seventh year they were to be set free. So they would serve for six years and then their master would set them free. However, the children of Judah had ignored this clear command and had decided to keep them as slaves. King Zedekiah brought the people together and had them covenant with him before the Lord (as a last ditch effort) that they would again start honoring this command. (vs. 10) However, they immediately rebelled against the covenant and put their servants and handmaids back into subjection. (vs. 11) Character problems are deeper than just surface problems. People often want to change in order to escape consequences or difficulty, but if the change has not been generated from a transformation from within, it is destined to only be temporary. True change comes from the inside out. God addresses their unwillingness to hear Jeremiah’s counsel earlier and therefore the warning that was unheeded would become a reality. “Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.” (vs. 17) God takes our covenant before Him serious. I think it is important that we take our covenants before God serious.
• Lord, please help me to take my marriage covenant as serious as you do. Thank you for the gift of my wife. She is an amazing completer to me. Help me to not just honor her, but to honor you by the way I speak to her, treat her, and honor our vows.
• Lord, please help me to listen when you speak to me. Help me to understand your word as it is preached, read, and studied. Help me to not just understand, but to also demonstrate the character to obey it.
• Lord, please help me to remember that disobedience always brings bondage to the soul of a person. How sad it is when we read these accounts and think that somehow we are the exception. Help me to never fall into that trap.