Saturday, August 7

God's Word: Nothing To Be Trifled With!

The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah. For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, “Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: Behold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall capture it; Zedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, but shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. And he shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the Lord. Though you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’?” ” (Jeremiah 32:1–5)
Prophets spoke for God. God never gets anything wrong. Everything God says happens. PERIOD! End of story.
Or, at least, it SHOULD be! Scripture is replete with examples of those who dismissed God’s word as a “kill-joy” or a waste of their time. In the example above, the king of Judah hated that Jeremiah had prophesied his captivity under the Chaldeans. So, rather than listen to him—as from God—Zedekiah threw Jeremiah in jail! (We can understand his apprehension at such a message. But to jail the messenger!?) Really? What good would it do. The WORD has gone out. It’s not going to change. Jailing Jeremiah won’t help one bit. (But that’s using reasoning, and reason is hard to come by among rebels). By the time we get to chapter 32, Nebuchadnezzar is in the process of besieging Jerusalem, carrying out the very prophecy which Zedekiah, king of Judah hated, and  for which Jeremiah was imprisoned.
Well, a most obvious one is: “You shoulda listened!” Prophets of God only speak the truth of God. And God is NEVER wrong. NEVER! 100% accuracy. You’d think that would’ve earned a little respect. But, NO! Evil, persistent evil foolishly refuses to listen even in the face of historical precedent. There was nothing wrong with the messenger. Certainly nothing aberrant in his message. Why the resistance? Why is there ever any resistance to God’s message? Innately, men will not have God rule them. "It doesn't matter what you say, we don't want Him!" It doesn't make sense. But it is what it is.

Another lesson is the arrogance of man that he would "put it to God," forcing God to answer to him! Zedekiah asked, "Why do you prophecy and say . . . ?" He's not inquiring; he's attacking. What? Do you really imagine that if you command the prophet to shut-up, that therefore will avert God's plan, His wrath? No, he's simply setting Jeremiah to take the fall for a country gone bad, and in the process, setting him up to be thrown into prison. What audacity men have that they think to put God on the judgment seat! How utterly foolish. Yet, today such an attitude has gone epidemic. God somehow must answer to man!? C. S. Lewis wrote,

The ancient man approached God (or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roles are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the dock. He is quite a kindly judge: If God should have a reasonable defense for being the god who permits war, poverty and disease, he is ready to listen to it.

Audacious. Foolish. The answer is rather, hear God. Submit to God. Obey God. Don't tell Him how to run the universe! And never presume to sit in judgment over the One who gave us jurisprudence.


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