Jeremiah 37:1-3… “And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the LORD, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah. And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the LORD our God for us” (KJV).
The Message reads, “King Zedekiah son of Josiah, a puppet king set on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the land of Judah, was now king in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his officials nor the people themselves paid a bit of attention to the Message God gave by Jeremiah the prophet. However, King Zedekiah sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Pray for us—pray hard!—to the Master, our GOD.”
The Babylonian army was at the doors of Judah. Jeremiah prophesied the word from God. The king (Jehoiakim) received the word and rejected it by cutting it up with a penknife (Jeremiah 36:22-23). Zedekiah took the throne and became an unprofitable hearer of the word of God. He and all his court and all the people did not pay attention to what the Lord was saying. They ignored the word of the Lord. The word preached did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith (Hebrews 4:2). Unbelief and faith do not mix well together. Zedekiah sent word to Jeremiah, “Pray now unto the LORD our God for us” (KJV) or as The Message says, “Pray for us–pray hard!–to the Master, our GOD.” They ignored the word but asked for a special prayer. This happens quite regularly in many of today’s church services. The sermon is ignored, but the people get in the prayer line for a “special touch” from the pastor or from one of the unanointed elders. The sermon wasn’t listened to, yet they expect that a prayer would fix any problem the people might have. Jeremiah’s preaching was slighted, rejected, condemned, and they wanted God to do a miracle. Hebrew 3:12 reads, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God” (KJV). Hebrews 4:7 reads, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Hardening your hearts is simply closing your mind to what God is saying.) Jesus said in John 8:47, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” Matthew 13:15-16 reads, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
I wonder if this is what’s wrong with many churches today…
Pastor George Belobaba
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