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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Obey First

On this trip, yesterday was a struggle.  The group I was leading did not seem to be engaging as they had during the first part of the week.  Part of that, I know, was a check on my heart.  I won’t get into that here, now.
Obey First

My reaction was to spend some extended time thinking and praying through what I was going to do today.  This morning I got up, early for here, and spent time praying and working through the day.  I was in Jeremiah 32.  The Lord used that time to set up the rest of the day.

Jeremiah is in jail.  He is there because he told Zedekiah that Nebuchadnezzar was going to overtake Jerusalem and take Judah into captivity…  Zedekiah, did not like the message, so exercising cognitive consistency, he threw the messenger in jail.  Zedekiah was suffering a bit of denial since the siege ramps were already built and the city was surrounded.

In this context, the Lord gives Jeremiah a really weird command.  Buy some land.  Now if I am Jeremiah, cooling my heels in Zedekiah’s jail, with Nebuchadnezzar’s siege ramps built, and the city about to be sacked, my response to the Lord would probably be on the order of, “Say what?”

Not Jeremiah.  He buys the land.

Then, after he obeys, he goes to the Lord and shares the situation siege ramps and all, asking, in so many words, “Why?”

The Lord then shares with Jeremiah what He is doing and what He is going to do.  We have several of the passages in the Lord’s answer cross stitched on pillows or on greeting cards in our Christian bookstores.  That is interesting in light of the context.

This challenges me at a significant level.  Jeremiah did not flinch at the strangeness of God’s request.  He just obeyed.  It was after his obedience that he asked why.  I get that reversed.  Pretty much all of the time.

2 comments:

  1. Perhaps I am finally learning that (after decades of trying to follow Christ) that "Why?" is likely the most futile word I know. Yet it is usually the first thought to occur, often on a daily basis (at least once).

    Why don't I learn? (Did I just say "Why?")

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  2. Jeremiah was also obedient in similar strange story -- buying, hiding and ruining the linen belt, Jer 13.
    I did get strange commands, too. Those times I chose to obey, I was blessed.

    ReplyDelete