October 6


God Warns His People to Listen


Jeremiah 25, 26; 2 Chronicles 36


Key Verse: Amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you.

n      Jeremiah 26:13


Jeremiah deserves more respect that we may have paid him. We tend to remember him as the Weeping Prophet or one of the Prophets of Doom. The more I study him, however, the more I realize that Jeremiah took on a tough assignment from God and did it with great courage and creativity.

Imagine the jeers he must have heard when he walked the streets of his day with an ox yoke around his neck! But when the crowd stopping laughing, Jeremiah may have slammed home his point by saying: “Unless you amend your ways and start listening to God, you will soon be wearing the burdensome yoke of the king of Babylon!”

The prophet wore the yoke not to attract attention to himself but to the warning God instructed him to give to the people. The people, he said, were not listening to God. They acted as though God did not exist and they persisted in doing evil.

The people ignored God and they ignored Jeremiah, except for the few who wanted to shut him up for revealing their wickedness. Still, in obedience to God, Jeremiah continued for years to warn the people that God would punish them if they did not repent and amend their ways.

The message for us here is clear: if we refuse to listen to God and live like he wants us to live, then we also will suffer the consequences of our sins. We have a greater advantage than the people of Jeremiah’s day. We know from the teachings of Jesus how God’s people should live.

We too are tempted to ignore God and his warnings in Holy Scripture. Our hedonistic culture constantly lures us to worship other gods rather than “amend our ways” to please God. Too many of us chase after pleasure when we could be chasing God. We are prone to take the safe and easy way rather than take a courageous stand against pornography, legalized gambling, and other evils of our time.

The people of Judah said No to Jeremiah and No to God. By doing so they chose death instead of life. May God give us the wisdom to say Yes to God so that our fate will be life instead of punishment. Before it is too late, let us with passion persuade others to turn from evil and receive grace instead of wrath from the hand of God.