Summary: Sometimes Christians say they want to follow God, but fail to follow through when God’s will doesn’t agree with their preconceived idea of how things were supposed to work out. Following God is about full surrender to God’s will and purpose.

Determined To Disobey

Text: Jer. 44:15-17

I. THE PEOPLE’S REQUEST (Jer. 41:16-42:8)

A. The People Purportedly Sought God’s Direction.

B. The Prophet Promised That What God Said, He Would Declare.

C. The People Promised That What God Said, They Would Do


A. Jeremiah Reveals God’s Decree.

B. Jeremiah Reveals The Danger Of Disobedience.

C. Jeremiah Reveals The People’s Deceitfulness.


A. They Vilified God’s Prophet.

B. God’s Wrath Was Provoked.

C. Their Defiance Progressed.

D. Judgment Was Pronounced.

Intro: Today’s text accurately sums up the overall attitude of the people of Judah during the time of Jeremiah the prophet. In spite of the fact that God’s judgment had already resulted in the capture of Jerusalem and the surrounding cities, the remnant of Judah still displayed hardened hearts toward God that seemed determined to have their own way—determined to disobey.

The strange thing about the condition of these folks is that they didn’t seem to realize that God could see past the charades of their deceitful hearts. They talked of wanting to do God’s will; but what they really meant was that they would do God’s will as long as it agreed with what they had already made up their minds to do. When God’s plans didn’t coincide with their plan, they rebelled. That attitude sounds a lot like a number of Baptist church members I’ve known through the years.

People in our day are really not so different from the people of Judah in the days of Jeremiah. There are still those who know how to submit to God with their lips, but don’t know how, or even care to live submissively. However, we can be assured that God knows the difference.

Let’s examine the hearts of the people of Judah. We will find that they were a people who were DETERMINED TO DISOBEY.

Theme: It’s plain to see that Judah was determined to disobey when one considers…


A. The People Purportedly Sought God’s Direction.

1. The people, fearing Babylonian reprisals, had already come to a preconceived conclusion.

Jer. 41:16 “Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam [whom the king of Babylon had made governor of Judah], even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:

17 And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt,

18a Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them…”

NOTE: After Johanan had delivered the people from Ishmael, including Jeremiah the prophet; he immediately departs to “…the habitation of Chimham” (v. 17a). Though there is little in biblical history concerning Chimham, according to one commentary, “The lodging place was a khan (caravansary) on the caravan route to Egypt.”1 It’s seems rather clear that Johanan and the remnant of Judah were poised and ready to take the road down to Egypt for safety.

2. The people enlisted Jeremiah’s help only to see if God would concur.

Jer. 42:1 “Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hashaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,

2 And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the Lord thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)

3 That the Lord thy God may show us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.”

NOTE: What prophet of God, or pastor, wouldn’t like to hear words like these found in verse three, from his people? But unless the ones speaking those words follow through, and truly obey and follow the Lord, their words are little more than religious rhetoric and high-sounding, but meaningless, verbiage. God is tired of cheap commitment, and “Burger King religion” (“Have it your way”). He’s not interested in Christians who merely talk the talk, but those who are willing to walk the walk. As it turned out, the words of Johanan and the remnant of Judah were hollow and insincere.

B. The Prophet Promised That What God Said, He Would Declare.

Jer. 42:4 “Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you, behold, I will pray unto the Lord your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the Lord shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.”

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