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12 Weeks of Prayer Week 10 Day 1

12 Weeks of Prayer Week 10 Day 1

Litmus Test to Trusting God’s Word

Pastor Mike Heil

“because they have not listened to My words,’

declares the Lord,

‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets;

but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord.”

Jeremiah 29:19

Jeremiah was a prophet God had sent to Judah just before they were taken into captivity in Babylon. Coming on the scene around 626 BC, Jeremiah lived right before the Babylonian captivity in 597 BC. In fact, scholars and history seem to agree that Jeremiah died in the early years of captivity in Babylon. So, it is important we recognize as we look at Jeremiah he had in insurmountable task; God directed him to inform Judah (the two tribes of Israel that were the southern kingdom) of their impending captivity. As you can imagine, Judah did not look too favorably upon the prophecies that God gave him, hence Jeremiah is often called “the weeping prophet.” In fact, God told him in Jeremiah 7:27, “You shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.”

Typical to God’s mercy and long-suffering, God tells us in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God does nothing Unless He reveals His secret counsel To His servants the prophets.” So, it is no surprise that God sent Jeremiah to speak his words of the coming captivity just before the Babylonians came to Judah. God directs Jeremiah to tell Judah the reason for the coming captivity in 29:19. God says here, “because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord.” The reason that God brought judgment to Judah in 597 BC was the same reason judgment falls on anyone today who denies God’s word. God’s word, far from being a heartless restriction on our happiness and fun, is in actuality a roadmap to his blessings and peace and prosperity. God had communicated this clearly to all Israel in Deuteronomy the 20th chapter. In the first part of that chapter, God told all of Israel at that time, “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.” Later, in verse 15, God also gave Israel an explicit warning when he said, “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”

We today, living almost 27 centuries later, have many conveniences and luxuries all around us in our life that Judah never knew about. Still, in spite of that, God deals with us in the same way as he did his people back in the sixth century BC. Whether we experience God’s blessings and God’s favor on this earth, will depend on whether we accept or deny his revealed word. It is not a question of whether or not we have his word, the Bible is the best-selling book and has been for many generations in America. The question is how do we handle God’s word? We can win Bible trivia supports with a great knowledge of God’s word, but that is still not the standard of God’s blessings and God’s protections. As he told Israel, and by extension the two tribes of Judah, it is not whether we know God’s word or memorize God’s word or talk about God’s word that will reveal if we accept or deny it. As God expressed to Israel in Deuteronomy 28:1, 15 and many other places, it is whether we keep God’s word. Obedience in faith is the proof that we accept God’s word! Rejection of obedience to God’s word is the proof that we deny God’s word.

So, Brothers and Sisters, you who are born again and as saints of the living God, where do you stand? Are you accepting God’s word? Or are you denying God’s word? God doesn’t look for our perfection, but he looks for our faithful yielding in our life to what we know of his commandments and his word. May God stir up my heart, and your heart, to a deeper devotion and trust in his word. Selah.



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