Jeremiah 11 — When God won’t listen

“I’m already saved.  So I’ll just sin and God will forgive me.”

That’s the unfortunate attitude of many people that say they are Christians, but continue to live their own way.  But God makes clear here that he doesn’t tolerate that kind of attitude.

He said of the people of Israel and Judah,

There is a conspiracy among the people of Judah and those who live in Jerusalem.  They have returned to the sins of their forefathers, who refused to listen to my words.  They have followed other gods to serve them.  Both the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken the covenant I made with their forefathers.  (9-10)

So many people today are the same.  They return to the sins that they had previously left behind.  Perhaps the people of Judah thought to themselves, “It’s okay.  If we get into trouble, we’ll just make the sacrifices for sin, and God will forgive us.”

But they forgot the sacrifices were not for willful sins, that is, sins made in utter rebellion and disobedience towards God.  Sometimes we sin in the heat of the moment.  Sometimes we sin before we even know it.  It was for those sins that the sacrifices were for, not for defiant ones.  See here for more on that.

Here, the people of Judah knew what they were doing was wrong, but insisted on sinning.  So God said,

Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape.  Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.  (11)

And again,

Do not pray for this people nor offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.  (14)

We are living in the age of grace.  That’s true.  God will forgive us if we’re truly repentant.  But as I’ve mentioned before, that doesn’t mean we’ll escape the consequences of sin.

If you cheat on your wife, she may divorce you no matter how much you may plead with her or God.  If you blow your money on gambling or unwise use of credit cards, you can plead with God all you want, but most likely, he’ll let you suffer the consequences of your actions.

So let us not fool ourselves by saying, “God will forgive, so I’ll just sin.”  Let us instead do as Paul admonishes us.

Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  (II Timothy 2:22)

 

About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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