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Praying Through the Bible #83
TEXT: Jeremiah 11:9-14
During our last message, we shared this particular topic from a passage in Jeremiah chapter 9. We were introduced to Jeremiah as a weeping, praying prophet who was faithful in his duties as a spokesperson for God and intercessor for the people. We also saw the sinfulness of the children of Israel, and the chastisement that God had promised to send upon them. Here, in Jeremiah 11, we see God telling his servant once again not to pray for the children of Israel because of their sins. I want you to notice three things from this passage.
1. Notice the deliberate decision. In verse 9, the Lord tells Jeremiah, “A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.”
The word “conspiracy” denotes treason or a united act of rebellion against the commandments of God. Adam Clarke says that the men of Judah were “sworn brothers determined to cast off the Divine yoke and no longer to have God reign over them.” The children of Israel had made a deliberate decision to disobey God. They said, ‘we are going to do things our way.’
2. Notice the divine destruction. In verse 11, God says, “Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.”
Since the people have decided to rebel against God’s laws, God has decided to chastise them by bringing destruction on them and their land. As one commentator said, “It required a captivity to cure them of this propensity [for rebellion]: and God sent one: after that, there was no idolatry among the Jews.” God sent chastisement that was so severe that He knew the children of Israel would realize the error of their ways and begin to turn back to Him. However, He decided ahead of time that He would not take heed to their cries for mercy; He would let the full course of their chastisement run out.
3. Notice the cry of the captives. Look at verses 11 and 12: God says, “Though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble.”
Like most of us, it takes some hardship, some pain, some difficulty, for the children of Israel to realize the error of their ways. Once they are shackled and being marched across the desert to a foreign land, they come to their senses, and begin to cry out to God. Once they are in Babylon, they look back longingly toward Jerusalem and realize how good they had it. They cry out to God for deliverance and mercy. But God has said He will not hear them. Here we see a demonstration of Proverbs 28:9 which says, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”
The lesson for us today is that we ought not to be like the children of Israel. We ought not to turn our backs on God’s Word and choose to trust in idols — people and things that we can see and touch and handle. We ought not to put ourselves in a situation where God will not hear our prayers or where God will not hear the prayers of others for us.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.