Love and Obey ~ Read and Insight~

Jeremiah 11:1-23
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Listen to the terms of this covenant and tell them to the people of Judah and to those who live in Jerusalem.
Tell them that this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Cursed is the one who does not obey the terms of this covenant— the terms I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt, out of the iron-smelting furnace.’
I said, ‘Obey me and do everything I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God.
Then I will fulfill the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey’—the land you possess today.”
I answered, “Amen, Lord.”
The Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and follow them.
From the time I brought your ancestors up from Egypt until today, I warned them again and again, saying, “Obey me.”
But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubbornness of their evil hearts.
So I brought on them all the curses of the covenant I had commanded them to follow but that they did not keep.’”
Then the Lord said to me, “There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem.
They have returned to the sins of their ancestors, who refused to listen to my words.
They have followed other gods to serve them.
Both Israel and Judah have broken the covenant I made with their ancestors.
Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape.
Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
The towns of Judah and the people of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they will not help them at all when disaster strikes.
You, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns; and the altars you have set up to burn incense to that shameful god Baal are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.’
“Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.
“What is my beloved doing in my temple as she, with many others, works out her evil schemes?
Can consecrated meat avert your punishment?
When you engage in your wickedness, then you rejoice.”
The Lord called you a thriving olive tree with fruit beautiful in form.
But with the roar of a mighty storm he will set it on fire, and its branches will be broken.
The Lord Almighty, who planted you, has decreed disaster for you, because the people of both Israel and Judah have done evil and aroused my anger by burning incense to Baal.
Because the Lord revealed their plot to me, I knew it, for at that time he showed me what they were doing.
I had been like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter; I did not realize that they had plotted against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree and its fruit; let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
But you, Lord Almighty, who judge righteously and test the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them, for to you I have committed my cause.
Therefore this is what the Lord says about the people of Anathoth who are threatening to kill you, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord or you will die by our hands”— therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will punish them. Their young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters by famine.
Not even a remnant will be left to them, because I will bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”

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INSIGHT
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This message in Jeremiah may seem purposeless to today. As if to think its message does not pertain to us or to our society.
There are a few angles to look at when it comes to these scriptures; especially of the Prophets. One angle is the obvious…this was a time when Jeremiah was alive, and much of what occurred up until this chapter foretells what Babylon is about to do to the Israelites. The second angle, is of the prophetic nature that occurs in these scriptures, which foretells something even more futuresque; along with conveying a parallel reality or prophecy that ties into other Books in the Bible. The third and last angle I will mention, is the uncanny and not coincidental ability of the Bible to speak about, and into, our current life; our current reality. We can learn much about life and the ways of God by using the Israelites as an example. It is actually a point of deemphasis by stating this to be so; as this is an understatement. With all this said, I am going to focus on the 1st and 3rd angles in discussing this scripture.

The first 10 chapters of Jeremiah lead up to Chapter 11; a culmination of. I want to share a few scriptures prior to chapter 11 that stuck out to me. Before I share, I will illuminate one theme. God is serious. God is not a joke. God gives fair warning. God does not want us to suffer. God is an amazing “parent”. God employs fair and just “tough love”. God will not be mocked. Gods Word is final.

Jeremiah 7:5-7
If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.

Jeremiah 7:9-11
“‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”—safe to do all these detestable things?
Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?
But I have been watching! declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 8:4-13
“Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says:“‘When people fall down, do they not get up?
When someone turns away, do they not return?
Why then have these people turned away?
Why does Jerusalem always turn away?
They cling to deceit; they refuse to return.
I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right.
None of them repent of their wickedness, saying, “What have I done?”
Each pursues their own course like a horse charging into battle.
Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.
But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.
“‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?
The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, what kind of wisdom do they have?
Therefore I will give their wives to other men and their fields to new owners.
From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit.
They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.
“Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.
“‘I will take away their harvest, declares the Lord.
There will be no grapes on the vine.
There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither.
What I have given them will be taken from them.’”

In reading these scriptures the question that comes to mind is why, why, why? Why did these people in these times not take heed to Gods Word, Gods voice, Gods Prophet? Why wasn’t God taken seriously? Why, after their being delivered several times by God, and after all the miracles they witnessed of God, did they not have loyalty toward the One who provided and delivered? These questions are not just for a time that existed 2,500 years ago. They are for these days as well, during “end times”, a time when this message is ridiculously relevant.

Why are we not listening? Why are we not rightly fearful? Why do we ignore all the warnings? The answer is so clear. Crystal clear. I ask that you would have ears to hear and eyes to see. The answer is the strategic plan of the enemy in these days…to blur, blind, distract, lure, confuse, and disassociate.

I believe an element to satans ability to thwart the purposes and plan of God, is his taking advantage of our lack of ability to be eternal minded. It is trying for anyone, in any time period in history, to be existentially eternal. But there is something much different about our current society, and the culture of the earth as a whole.
Knowing the difference of “the now” will illuminate the tactics the enemy uses to keep us from recognizing who God really is. I can define this in one really long sentence.
(Before I do…let me place a disclaimer here….do not take offense. This is based on observation. If it disturbs you, then instead examine why it disturbs you. We are all on the same team here. I am sharing these bold thoughts to get us to think about our society as a whole, not to condemn, as there is NO condemnation in Christ.).

We are a peace loving, anything goes, give a 2nd chance, tolerant, politically correct, politically incorrect, co-existing, hate on each other, competitive, glorifying of sexual relationship, sex obsessed, vain, children who are bullies, new age laced, witchcraft drenched, death is the end, zombie obsessed, glorify evil yet act like it’s fake, entertainment dazed, drug frenzied, alcohol numbed, pill popping for coping, no rules, what you see is what you get, pleasure seeking, immediate gratification, self-entitled, disposable relationship, give up, breaking covenant/contracts/commitments type of people, socially inept, virtual reality morphed, money hungry/obsessed/worried, video gaming, tv watching, vacation seeking, movie lusting, give a 3rd chance, judging, discriminating, hypocritical, pro-abortion, politician hating, love an animal more than your neighbor, throw in jail instead of correct or restore, focus on homosexuality instead of the cross, blame the rich/the poor, give advice/opinion like it’s candy, point fingers, convenience is priority, busy busy busy, works oriented, bitter, alienate God because of Religion, impatient, over exaggerate, curse oneself and life, atheist influenced, get to heaven by being “good”, heavens only here and now, hells not real, do as thou wilt, many gods, Santa and Halloween instead of Passover and Yom Kippor, going to church on Sunday instead of talking to God and reading His Word, trees and rocks are equal to people, Jesus is a guy/avatar, Buddha and meditation are safe and cool, and a me/myself & I type of society.

How does this relate to our lack of being eternity minded? God is eternal. God came before time. In fact, he created time. God prevents eternal damnation through His Salvation. All these things listed in that sentence are existent because of a separation from God, or are a ploy to separate us from God, or are used in a very deceptive way to lure us away from God; the God who is eternal. In short, if we are not focused on God and His Word (the Bible consisting of 66 books) then we are not eternity minded. Then we are at the mercy of what is in this time we are in. A ruler named satan who knows his time is running short until the 2nd coming of Christ. Till then he is using his time wisely to trap you in the time; making everything here seem so finite and important, and everything infinite seem unimportant.

I want to quickly interject a point. Last week I watched a YouTube video titled “Kathryn Hepburn on Religion”. I am not picking on this woman but am using her public sharing as an example that I feel compelled to share. She actually said within the same 3 minute video clip that she does not believe in anything after this life, yet she does believe in Christ. This is the epitome of an oxymoron. That is as saying I don’t believe in eternity but I believe in eternity. If you believe in Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) you have to take Him at His Word. You can not pick and choose. You may pick and choose, but it can not be done. Interesting how this is different then some of the first grammatical lessons we are taught as children. Example…”mom can I have some candy?” Mom would correctly say, “no honey, it’s ‘may I have some candy’.”

I will not go on about the video, you can look it up for yourself, but we must be extremely careful with taking Eternity out of a God who is Eternal. Just as taking Love out of God. As well as taking the power, sovereignty and wrath out of God. He is all these things, and praise God that He is. But of course we don’t want to hear who He is when it does not work in our “favor”; the agenda we have, what we think we want, how satan has brainwashed us to make us despise or become annoyed with the idea of a God. We would rather think we were created out of nothing than an amazing God who made us in His image and likeness, who has adopted us and given us His Holy Spirit; a God who has a plan for us. Instead we focus on the pain. We grumble and complain as the Israelites did in the wilderness. We want our children to listen to us, to take discipline from us, to not question us, to trust us, etc., etc. Yet, we can’t even model that by doing the same for our Heavenly Father who actually gave us life to the very core.

Of course we hate him if we don’t believe him. If we have been hurt or abused we think He caused it. Yet, God have us all free will. We also want to do what we want, when we want, how we want; but God knows best. He is trying to grow us, prepare us for what is to come. We think death is the end, so when we lose someone we are beyond devastated. Should we not be devastated? Of course we’ll be devastated! But why are we devastated? Because we were not created to be separated. We were not created to be separated from God; who is eternal. The promise is that with God we are restored and we will no longer be separated. We can rest assured we will be reunited with all that we lost. Many things are restored immediately on earth upon Salvation; accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. Some restoration, after God finishes the work that He must at the 2nd coming. Death, anxiety, and fear are not of God. “For He does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind.” With God death has lost its sting; because we receive eternal life again. Without being eternity minded we are not equipped to escape the wiles of the devil.

Eternity minded is also this…in a nutshell…
Ephesians 6:11-12
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

And that is the point…God is trying to protect us. He is not asking us to obey because he is some sick twisted dysfunctional authority figure who gets off on having people listen to him or be his puppets. No, that would be satan. So don’t get it twisted. God wants what is best for us and He is not a pushover. He takes this very seriously.

This confusion is a tactic of the enemy. God is demonized by the enemy while concurrently being made to look impotent and weak. We see God as mean or “super loving”. We blame God for all that is bad. Oppositely, what is good many glorify their own actions for, or just see things as chance.

The irony is that our culture adores super heroes, warriors, characters that destroy, kill, and conquer. Yet when the One who is, exhibits His wrath and power, He is judged, negatively extrapolated, and blamed.

With all this, we have touched base as to the why; “why don’t we listen and obey?” Which leads us to the latter point brought out in Jeremiah 11, after all is said and done, we despise God for reprimanding us. We also seem to have lost or never learned the knowledge that God is a magnificent, omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient God. That He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah. Jehovah Shalom – The Lord our peace, as opposed to worldly “hippie” peace. El Shaddai- The Lord God Almighty. Yahweh Sabaoth. Elohim.
El-Gibhor: “Mighty God” (Isaiah 9:6) and (Revelation 19:15).
That He is more powerful than any superhero ever invented. That He is not a weakling because he is based in love and grace. That His wrath could obliterate all that exists, yet He is a gentle and just God. The enemy has reduced God to nothing, but there will come a day that in our face the enemy will be reduced to nothing.

I pray that we would learn from what happened in the scriptures I shared. God gave fair warning. What if this is your fair warning? You don’t want to believe in a God that made you obey?

Thinking about your own children, or imagine if you had children. Do you want them to obey you or not? Why should they obey you? What would you do if your children didn’t obey you? Repeatedly and/or outright insubordination. What if there lack of obedience destroyed your home, your marriage, your family, etc.?

This is only a small exercise to get us to think outside the box. But it’s a thinking and a knowing in part. We must remember that His ways are above our ways. He is eternal and moves in ways we can not understand. Yet, exclamation point, He does not catch us off guard or play games. He is not causing us to stumble or fall, that would be the enemies territory. However, if God says it’s so, if He gives fair warning, maybe we should listen.

I thank God everyday for His Grace and Mercy, for His Love and Forgiveness, for His Salvation and Hope. But maybe it’s time to take Him more seriously. Maybe it’s time to focus on the One who gives us Life and that Life more abundantly.

What are His Promises? His Covenants? His Commandments? His Feasts? His Sabbath rest? Who is His Son? What does He ask of us? What does He give us?

If you don’t know…I challenge you to read His Word and speak with Him.
If you do know…I challenge you to to delve deeper and realize revelation is continual; He has a Word for you in these times beyond what you already know.

God Bless.

Love and Obey

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