Jeremiah 12:2-3… “And they are rich. They say, ‘Thank God!’ But in their hearts they give no credit to you. But as for me–-Lord, you know my heart–-you know how much it longs for you. (And I am poor, O Lord!“) (TLB). Jeremiah says…
Let me talk, Lord… Jeremiah was preaching, teaching and prophesying. He was frustrated that his nation was not repenting and turning toward God. Judgment and captivity were approaching, yet the nation was experiencing economic prosperity and financial growth. Jeremiah said, “I don’t like your decisions, Lord. Your decisions are all wrong. Lord, You aren’t saying it right.” The unbelievers were planted, rooted and prospering. How often today’s Christian think and talk to the Lord in the same way. They chide God and think that God has led them wrong. They talk to God and say things like, “Lord, I have been faithfully ‘doing,’ but You seem to have forgotten that. Lord, You have forgotten about my prosperity.” God says…
Now let Me talk… The Lord starts out with, “If you get weary and cave in under small trials, how will you do when the big ones come?” The Lord then lays out the “root” problems about why Christians do not prosper and as to why they get weary in small trials.
a) They deal treacherously with God’s anointed (v. 6). People come to pastors for counsel and don’t tell the entire truth, then go out angry because they didn’t hear the word that was needed to help them with their problems.
b) They yell back at God (vv. 7-8). Like a lion roaring in the forest, Christians sometimes “roar” at God. God hates your yelling.
c) They peck like a falcon at the smaller birds (v. 9). Christians shouldn’t snipe at other Christians or be jealous of (despise) the anointing others have.
d) The pastors are not committed to God and to the needs of the sheep (vv. 10-11). They have their own personal commitments and attend to those instead.
e) The flock has no peace. God says, “It’s my judgment” (v. 12). Some of the unrest in congregations is God’s doing. The spoilers that come in are the sword of the Lord and they are meant to deal with the high places (idols in the human heart).
f) The people sow wheat, but reap thorns (pains) (v. 13). Note the words, “They put themselves to pain.” All their hard work does them no good, and they harvest a crop of shame.
g) Evil people touch what belongs to God (v. 14). Evil people have touched the things God gave to His people. God says, “I will touch you in the same way you touched my people.”
h) They do not live by the rules of conduct that God lays down (vv. 15-17). God says, “I love you and am compassionate towards you and yet you choose to disobey Me.”
The point of this whole exhortation is this: Quit chiding God. He will point His finger at your inconsistencies. If God has given you a word, God’s decisions are not wrong. He does see you, and He is concerned with your prosperity and welfare. He wants His very best for you. Jeremiah never did go into captivity with the rest of Judah. There is no use wanting the warmth of the Spirit’s “fire” if you are content to sit on a block of ice.
Pastor George Belobaba
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