God waits for our obedience before He acts. Israel took the first step in the water before God parted the Red Sea. The widow used up all her oil before God multiplied it as provision for Elisha and her sons. The little boy provided his five loaves and two fish before Christ fed the 5,000. eremiah obeyed God even when it was unpopular. Sometimes God asks you do something that is makes no sense from a human perspective. Let's see the dynamics of obedience that encouraged Jeremiah to live obediently.
Know Nothing is Too Hard for God
Zedekiah king of Judah imprisoned Jeremiah who prophesied that Babylon would capture Jerusalem. His cousin Hanamel sold his field in Anathoth to Jeremiah according to God's word. He put the deed of purchase in a clay jar to show that houses, fields and vineyards would be bought again. Jeremiah prayed to the Creator and Almighty God where nothing was too hard for Him. He performed miraculous signs in Egypt and gave the Israelites land flowing with milk and honey. Their disobedience resulted in the attack from Babylon. God reminded Jeremiah that nothing was too hard for Him. Instead of listening or responding to discipline, His people set up idols in the house that bore His name and built high places for Baal to sacrifice their children to Molech. In the future, God gave them singleness of heart and action, made an eternal covenant, inspired them to fear Him and planted them back in the land with all His heart and soul. He restored their fortunes and prosperity as He promised in the land (Jer. 32:1-44). Know that nothing is too hard for God if you obey Him.
Call Upon God for Healing and Forgiveness
God told Jeremiah to call on Him and be told great and unsearchable things they knew not. God healed, brought peace, rebuild, cleansed and forgave His people so Jerusalem brought praise and honor before all nations, which provided prosperity and peace. He fulfilled His promise to Israel and Judah of a righteous Branch sprouting from David's line who did just and right in the land. The Lord Our Righteousness saved Judah and Jerusalem to live in safety. God kept His covenant for David to always have a man sit on Israel's throne and the Levites stood before God to offer burnt and grain offerings continually (Jer. 33:1-26).
Call upon God for healing, peace, rebuilding, cleansing, forgiveness and prosperity.
Turn From Your Wicked Ways
Jeremiah told Zedekiah that he would be captured by Babylon. Then Zedekiah made a covenant with the people in Jerusalem to free their slaves. Because they changed their minds, took back the slaves and did not let them go free every seventh year, they were killed by their enemies. God told Jeremiah to go to the Recabite family and give them wine to drink. They followed their forefather Jonadab to never drink. This became a lesson to Judah and Jerusalem to obey God's word. He sent His prophets continually and told them to turn from their wicked ways and not follow other gods. They disobeyed and experienced every disaster (Jer. 34:1-35:19). Turn from your wicked ways and do not follow other gods.
Consider Consequences of Disobedience
Lord told Jeremiah to write God's word on a scroll concerning Israel, Judah and other nations. Baruch read the scroll in the Lord's temple on a day of fasting so everyone might turn from their wicked ways after hearing God's planned disasters and wrath. Jehoiakim king of Judah burned the scroll when it was read to him and his attendants. Because the Lord hid Baruch and Jeremiah, they were not arrested. God told Jeremiah to write a second scroll and said the king would have no one to sit on David's throne. He would bring every disaster upon him and his children because they did not listen (Jer. 36:1-32). Consider consequences of disobedience resulting in disaster so no disciples are made.
Zedekiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in place of Jehoiachin. Neither he nor his attendants paid attention to God's word. Jeremiah told him that the Babylonians would return and burn Jerusalem. He warned Jehoiachin to not be deceived in thinking the Babylonians would leave them alone. Irijah arrested, beat and imprisoned Jeremiah when he tried to get his share of the property in the territory of Benjamin. Jeremiah told Zedekiah that he would be handed to the king of Babylon. He released Jeremiah from prison after he asked what crime he committed (Jer. 37:1-21). Experience persecution when you obey God's word.
Resist Fear of Mistreatment
The officials said Jeremiah should be put to death because he discouraged the remaining soldiers in Jerusalem. He said they would live by going with the Babylonians, but die by sword, famine or plague if they stayed in Jerusalem. They lowered Jeremiah by ropes into the cistern of Malkijah. He sank down into the mud, but later pulled out by Ebed-Melech. Jeremiah told Zedekiah that if he surrendered to the king of Babylon, Jerusalem would not be burned and he and his family would live. Zedekiah said he feared being mistreated by the Jews who went over to the Babylonians. Jeremiah said things would go well with him and his life spared if he obeyed God. Jeremiah did not reveal to anyone what he told Zedekiah (Jer. 38:1-28). Resist short-term fear of mistreatment and experience long-term well-being by obeying God.
Trust in God By Ministering to Obedient Servants
Babylon broke Jerusalem's city wall and took seats in the Middle Gate. Zedekiah and his soldiers left the city at night and headed toward Arabah. He saw the king of Babylon kill his sons and nobles before putting out his eyes and bounding him in shackles to Babylon. Poor people who owned nothing were left behind in Judah. Nebuchadnezzar ordered that Jeremiah be taken to his home among his own people. Ebed-Melech was rescued because he trusted in God (Jer. 39:1-18). Trust in God by ministering to obedient servants.
- Ask God to give you a heart of obedience as you realize that nothing is too hard for Him
- Call upon God for healing and forgiveness
- Turn from your wicked ways
- Consider the consequences of disobedience so no disciples are made
- Be willing to experience persecution if you obey
- Resist short-term fear of mistreatment by knowing well-being over the long-term
- Trust in God by ministering to obedient servants