“Be not afraid of the King of Babylon.” Jeremiah 42:11
Suggested Scripture reading – Jeremiah 42:1 – 45:12
The young couple had a beautiful wedding. They loved each other very much but very soon it became evident that there was a problem that they needed to solve. They were both very poor at handling their money. They both had good jobs but they were always broke. They just could not seem to get a handle on their finances and were suffering as a result. They came to their pastor with expectant and willing hearts. He began the counseling session with prayer and asked them to promise to take seriously his biblical advice and to obey what the Lord told them from His Word, the Bible. They nodded their eager agreement and promised to obey the instructions of the scriptures. The pastor promised them on the authority of the Bible that they could get victory over their finances.
The story of this couple closely mirrors the events we find in the book of Jeremiah 42. Jerusalem had been devastated by the attacks of Babylon. They was, however, a group of people that still remained in the city. They feared that Babylon would return and destroy them as well. They sent a group of their leaders to the prophet of God, Jeremiah to seek the counsel of the God. They promised Jeremiah that whatever God told them to do they would do. (Jeremiah 42: 5-6) Jeremiah went to prayer and returned to the people with this message. “If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down; and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the Lord: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.” (vs. 10 – 11) If they would obey and trust God he promised that “I am with you to save you and to deliver you . . . I will show mercies unto you.” (vs. 11b – 12a) He promise to be with them and bless them. There was only one problem, however. The advice of Jeremiah from God was not what the people wanted to hear. They wanted to run to Egypt for protection from the enemy. God told them to stay where they were and He would protect them. They refused to obey and ran to Egypt and were destroyed with the Egyptians. If they had only obeyed! The advice required faith and personal discipline. The result was destruction.
The young couple heard about budgeting, tithing, and saving that day in the pastor’s office. The trouble was that all the biblical counsel required faith and personal discipline. They went home and promptly ignored all the teaching. As a result the pastor was soon called to the home to watch as the auto was repossessed. Their lack of personal discipline and faith resulted in several more years of suffering before they finally conquered their own lack of discipline. If they could have obeyed sooner their lives would have been so much happier for those years. The advice they received was not what they wanted to hear but it was God’s word to them.
Believer, don’t be afraid to obey what God is telling you to do even if it is not what you want to hear. Claim God’s promises. When He tells you to give Him the first tenth of your income, obey. It will sometime seem counterintuitive to the human mind but you have God’s promise of blessing for our obedience.
Fear not to obey God even when it is not what you want to hear.
Isaiah 55: 8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
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