“Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.” Jeremiah 44:23
(Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading – Jeremiah 42-44 & Psalm 48 & Revelation 13)
Jeremiah relayed what God told him.
The folks in Jerusalem who had not been taken into exile to Babylonia asked Jeremiah to find out from God what they should do. They could either stay in Jerusalem and live under the Babylonians or escape to Egypt. God’s answer was very clear. They were to stay in Jerusalem.
That wasn’t the answer these folks wanted. So they ignored God, as they had in so many other things, and fled to Egypt.
Now Jeremiah relays to these folks the disaster they have brought on themselves. Things were going to get real ugly for them!
When I choose to ignore God I should not be surprised if a disaster of some sort follows shortly. God certainly has the power to do anything He decides to do.
If I am walking close to God, I find that my conscience is on full alert for missteps in my daily walk. Usually after the wrong words have left my mouth I hear my conscience saying in effect, “What are you doing!” Sometimes it isn’t enough and as the unfortunate words continue the voice from within gets louder or gives up depending on how close my walk is with God.
I know that all of my words must rightly represent the God I love. So I know what needs to be done. That kicks in James 4:17: “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”
I live in a world in which God is ignored by some and directly disobeyed by others. My concern, however, must be over my relationship to God. Nothing must interfere with my having a right relationship with Him.
“Lord, thank You for Your Word. So much for me to learn as I read through it. You know what I am doing and yet You spare me the punishment I deserve. You are a loving God. Prick my conscience when I am messing up so that I can quickly restore my relationship with You. I love You, Father.”