In Jeremiah 34, Jeremiah tells the King of Judah, Zedekiah, that he and the whole city of Jerusalem are about to be handed over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon because they had become so rebellious toward God. The crazy thing is that Jerusalem was already under the control of the King of Babylon and in fact, Nebuchadnezar had installed Zedekiah as King. Now Zedekiah was thumbing his nose at Nebuchadnezzar! That, of course did not end well. If you are rebellious to the authorities over you, you are probably going to be rebellious to God and visa-versa. One of the big issues which was causing Isreal’s downfall was their failure to release from bondage their fellow Isrealites who had sold themselves into indentured servitude. All Isrealites who had sold themselves into slavery were supposed to be released from that agreement every seven years but…. Noooooo! The owners were too greedy to obey the Lord and this was apparently one of the main reasons God is ticked. In chapter 35, God, through Jeremiah holds up the Rekabites as an example of heart felt obedience. These good people had committed themselves to never drinking wine for several generations and even when they are invited by God himself to the temple for a little party, they absolutely refuse to drink. God is very pleased and lets all Isreal know, in no uncertain terms, this is the kind of obedience which brings him joy. In chapter 36 we meet King Jehoiakim, the epitome of a guy who will not listen…. Are you seeing a pattern? Jeremiah dictates God words to a fellow named Baruch who probably great penman ship, he writes all the words on a scroll and delivers them to the king. The king reads the scroll inch by inch, cuts of each piece and throws it into his fire pot…. Not cool! God expects us to listen to his word.
A key verse for these three chapters is difficult to pin down but next, I think Jeremiah sums it all up in 37:2…
“Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the Lord had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.”
Our take-away for this day…. Listen and obey… there’s no other way.
How does what you read change your vision of God?
This changes nothing! It absolutely solidifies my convictions that obedience is critical for our salvation.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
This provokes me to continue my efforts to promote obedience to Jesus commands, not just hold to simple intellectual belief.
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
Jesus must have really loved the Rekabites because they had such a consistent faith that obeys.