Summary: Listening is a very important skill. That’s why God gave you two ears and only one mouth.If you want God’s best for you life you’ve got to be a spiritual listener.

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After listening restlessly to a long and tedious sermon, a 6-year-old boy asked his father what the preacher did the rest of the week. "Oh, he’s a very busy man," the father replied. "He takes care of church business, visits the sick, ministers to the poor.... And then he has to have time to rest up. Talking in public isn’t an easy job, you know. "The boy thought about that, then said, "Well, listening ain’t easy, either."

Listening is a very important skill. That’s why God gave you two ears and only one mouth.

If you want God’s best for you life you’ve got to be a spiritual listener.

The good and faithful King Josiah died in battle against Pharoah Necho II who was rushing to defend the Assyrians against the Babylonians. His son Jehoahaz served 3 months and then was carried into captivity into Egypt and Josiah’s 2nd oldest son Jehoiakim was placed on the throne as an Egyptian puppet king.

The Babylonians were not to be deterred and soon overran Palestine and in 605 B.C. were knocking at the door of Jerusalem. King Jehoiakim surrendered to the Babylonian king Nebuchadrezzar.

In Jeremiah 36 God tells Jeremiah to record all his prophesies on a scroll. So Jeremiah employed Baruch to record his prophesies.

- Baruch read it before the people

- Baruch then read it before the king’s officials

- His officials told him to leave the scroll with them and hide himself and Jeremiah

- They had it read before king Jehoiakim

Jer 36:21-26

21 The king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and Jehudi brought it from the room of Elishama the secretary and read it to the king and all the officials standing beside him. 22 It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him. 23 Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire. 24 The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes. 25 Even though Elnathan, Delaiah and Gemariah urged the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. 26 Instead, the king commanded Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel and Shelemiah son of Abdeel to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. But the LORD had hidden them. NIV

Jer 36:29-31

29 Also tell Jehoiakim king of Judah, `This is what the LORD says: You burned that scroll and said, "Why did you write on it that the king of Babylon would certainly come and destroy this land and cut off both men and animals from it?" 30 Therefore, this is what the LORD says about Jehoiakim king of Judah: He will have no one to sit on the throne of David; his body will be thrown out and exposed to the heat by day and the frost by night. 31 I will punish him and his children and his attendants for their wickedness; I will bring on them and those living in Jerusalem and the people of Judah every disaster I pronounced against them, because they have not listened.’" NIV

It is a well documented historical fact, Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylon and in December 598 B.C. Nebuchadrezzar was back. Jehoiakim mysteriously died (probably assinated) and his 18 year old son Jehoiachin became king until Babylon breached the walls of Jerusalem 3 months later in March 597 B.C. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon and his uncle Zedekiah was installed as a puppet king of Babylon.

Jer 37:1-3

37:1 Zedekiah son of Josiah was made king of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he reigned in place of Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim. 2 Neither he nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.

It was during this time that King Zedekiah decided to rebel against Babylon:

2 Kings 24:1 During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. 2 The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets. NIV

Back to Jeremiah 37:3

3 King Zedekiah, however, sent Jehucal son of Shelemiah with the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah the prophet with this message: "Please pray to the LORD our God for us." NIV

After reading that I’m thinking, “Wow, that Zedekiah is really a hypocrite – refusing to listen to the Lord, yet when he’s in trouble he wants people to pray for him.” Isn’t that the way people are today? We are so fickle in America. Americans won’t go to church or respond to the Gospel, but when a crisis hits, boy they want somebody to pray for them. (Desert Storm chapel prayer example).

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