Summary: God wants to speak to us, but do you and I really want to hear what God has to say to us? Understand, this is not the president or the Pope or some other international celebrity, this is God and believe it or not He wants to speak to us if we will listen
TEXT: Jeremiah 37:3-9, 17
TITLE: DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HEAR WHAT
GOD IS SAYING?
God wants to speak to us, but do you and I really want to hear what God has to say to us? Understand, this is not the president or the Pope or some other international celebrity, this is God and believe it or not He wants to speak to us if we will listen.
The Lord is getting His Bride ready. He wants to speak to the Church. I am afraid a lot of the visible Church isn’t ready. We have compromised; we have let the world in. God wants to speak to us and get us clean and ready for the marriage supper of the lamb. But do we really want to hear from God?
Jeremiah himself was everything a hungry congregation could ask for in a shepherd. He was shut in with God; he couldn’t be bought at any price; he wept over the sins of God’s people. He was ready to lay down his life for the church and indeed he was cast into jail and into a deadly mud pit for speaking the truth.
Time after time, Scripture says Jeremiah waited in the Lord’s presence until “the word of the Lord came to him.” (This phrase appears over 50 times in the book of Jeremiah!)
In those days, there was no shortage of a true word of God. Throughout history, the Lord had always had His true prophets and pastors, even in times of compromise and declension. Time after time your read: “And the word of the Lord came to Isaiah…to Jeremiah…to Ezekiel…” It came to Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Jonah, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi. And guess what, God wants to send His word to us today.
God’s word was always a clear warning full of judgment against sin, yet full of hope for the repentant.
Usually there were three kinds of responses to the word of truth. And you see these same three responses among Christians today:
First, many people simply do not want to hear what God is saying! The Israelites had no intention of quitting their sinful ways. Instead, they wanted a soft, soothing word. If we really wanted to hear what God is saying to us today we would try to be at every service. We wouldn’t want to miss because we would be afraid that we might miss what He is saying. May the Lord help us to never get to the point we don’t want to hear what He has to say.
The prophet Isaiah said of them: “For this is a rebellious people, false sons, sons who refuse to listen to the instruction of the LORD; who say to the seers, you must not see visions; and to the prophets, you must not prophesy to us what is right, speak to us pleasant words, prophesy illusions” (Isaiah 30:9-10).
Are there children of God today who would actually demand of their pastors a deceiving message?
Yes, there are! You may not hear them say those words but you can see their response when the man of God brings a strong prophetic word. They leave church thinking, “I can’t take this kind of preaching, it unnerves me! I prefer simple Bible teaching on how to cope with my problems."”
They so despised any word exposing sin that they demanded any such message be stopped!
The reason many don’t want to hear from God is because it may expose the sin that is in their life, sin that they don’t want to get rid of.
These kind of people like to read the promises but not the “Thou shalt nots.”
Second, others say privately they want to hear what God is saying, but their pride hinders them from hearing! King Zedekiah best illustrates this kind of person. He was a man of great power, influence and authority. His father, Josiah, was a godly man so we know Zedekiah had a background in holiness and the things of God.
Yet when this man inherited the throne, he had no time for the Lord, that is, until a crisis struck.
Isn’t it strange how we need a crisis before we want to hear what God is saying? As long as things seem to be going along relatively smooth in our lives we don’t care nor have too much time for God. But let something happen and we are in church and wanting to hear a word from the Lord that will help us.
Jerusalem was suddenly besieged, surrounded by a ruthless Chaldean army, strong and powerful. Eventually there was a shortage of bread and water was running low. Zedekiah called for the prophet Jeremiah, asking him, “Please pray to the LORD our God on our behalf” (Jeremiah 37:3). He sounded so sincere, calling the nation to prayer!