Why listen to God?
From Jeremiah: A 33-Day Devotional
The buffet was still open, so you went back for a second plate...and dessert...and more dessert. By the time you realized what you had done, it was too late. You regretted your decision and wished you exerted some self-control. But regardless of your remorse, your stomach restlessly churned for the rest of the night. You had to face the consequences of your decisions.
Jeremiah was a prophet who spent his life urging the people of Israel to listen to God and do what He said. Time after time, Jeremiah warned the people of the consequences that would follow if they disobeyed God. But the people paid no attention to Jeremiah and continued living their own way (Jeremiah 25:4).
The people disobeyed God’s instruction to turn away from the idols they worshipped. Those idols led them into more wrong actions and disregard for God. If they would have stopped and changed their behavior, God was willing to forgive them and move forward, but they refused.
As a result of their rebellious behavior, the people of Israel were subjected to seventy years of captivity under the Babylonian rule: “This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years” (Jeremiah 25:11).
We cannot ignore God’s instructions and escape the consequences. We are accountable for our actions. The clear directions God gives us aren’t arbitrary rules, but point us to the better things God has in store for us. Through Jesus’ forgiveness, we know God hasn’t given up on us and we can keep taking steps with Him.
- Think of a time when you clearly knew God’s directions on an issue but you deliberately took a different path. How did it turn out?
- Who are the Jeremiahs in your life? Who cares enough about you to hold you accountable for your actions?