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Phony Commitment

Today’s reading: Jeremiah 41:16-45:5

My selection: Jeremiah 42:5-6

5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to all the word with which the Lord your God sends you to us. 6 Whether it is good or bad, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.”

My reflections: Johanan and his allies had taken action and driven out Ishmael, the evil assassin of Gedaliah who was the appointed governor of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar. So far so good. Now Johanan and associates come to Jeremiah and want God’s direction for the next step. They emphatically commit themselves to obey God’s word to them through Jeremiah. When Jeremiah delivers the word to them, they reject it out of hand.

It turns out, they already had their minds made up to go to Egypt in an attempt to avoid the dangers of further war and famine. They had made a phony commitment to obey God, and it became obvious, once the Lord gave them different instructions than they were seeking. They did what they wanted to and went to Egypt, but Jeremiah persisted in warning them of the judgment that would fall on them even there where they thought they would be safe.

My challenge: Jesus confronted some of his phony followers with this question: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).

Are you seeking direction from God with a truly willing heart? Do not pretend to be obedient while actually seeking God’s endorsement of your own plan. God’s way is perfect (Psalm 18:30). Trust Him to lead you to the best.

Tomorrow’s reading: Jeremiah 46:1-48:47

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