so i'm reading my Bible, and I flip to Jeremiah. I come to chapter 38. It's about when Jeremiah was thrown in the cistern for telling the people of Jerusalem that if they didn't surrender to the Babylonians (like God was telling them to), they would all die from war, famine, or disease. So, a few guys go up to King Zedekiah, of Jerusalem, and say, "Hey. Jeremiah is undermining the morale of our people. Let's throw him in a hole." The King, being the easily-swayed man that he is, says, "Ok. Sure." So, they throw Jeremiah in the hole and forget about him. But then, another guy, (we'll call him Eddie), goes to the king and says, "Hey. Putting Jeremiah in the hole was wrong and a very bad idea. He's gonna starve in there!" So the king, naturally, says, "Ok. Sure, go get him out." So they get Jeremiah out of the hole. Then King Zedekiah asks to see Jeremiah. During their conversation, Jeremiah again tells the king that if he doesn't surrender to the Babylonians, they will die. But if they do, the city will be spared. But King Zedekiah is just not sure (when does he ever make decisions for himself anyway??).
So, the moral of the story is.....
Well. I'm not sure. But I'll tell you what I got from it!
I can see myself being both people at times: Jeremiah and King Zedekiah.
Jeremiah is a very driven man. He would have to be, after all; he was a prophet. He was very committed to the plan God had for him and endured much in his life. I think Jeremiah was a man who probably got really into peoples lives. You know, like when he got to know someone, I can see him really wanting to study that person, cover-to-cover, know that person, become best friends with that person. Because he was passionate. Passionate about what he preached to people. Passionate about God. I see Jeremiah just being a guy who wanted to share that passion with someone. And when people rejected him and his beliefs, which they did, more times than not, he probably got really upset. He probably just wanted to take those people by their shoulders and give them a good shake from time-to-time. Because he was passionate about what he preached, and no one was listening! The people would just go right back to their sinning, never giving Jeremiah a second thought. But Jeremiah persevered. He didn't lose hope.
I think that's a big part of Jeremiah's message. Don't lose hope. He says in chapter 29 that when God created us, he already had our life's road map figured out. God knows what's going to happen, with whom it will happen, when and where it will happen, and how it will happen. He knows. He's in control.
God is Sovereign. So don't lose hope. Don't think you are meaningless, because you're not.
Sometimes, when I'm people-watching, I wonder if those people are living out there plan or not. I mean, really. It's some-what rare nowadays to find someone so on fire for God that they are truly living the way God has in mind for them. I wonder how different those people's lives would look like if they were living the life they were designed to live. I wonder what my life would look like. In my opinion, that's partly why we face so much opposition in our sinful lives! It's like we are a puzzle piece trying to fit in the wrong puzzle hole, because we weren't designed to live this life. If we would just ask God how we were supposed to live, I believe whole-heartily that he would direct us to our puzzle hole that he designed especially for us. The one we'll actually fit in.
But despite our short-comings and unfit-puzzleness, God offers hope. Jeremiah's message (to me anyway) is hope. Don't lose hope. When people don't believe, even though you've tried and tried and poured out alot of your life into your relationship with them just so they can become a Christian, don't lose hope! When you get to feeling discouraged like that, don't lose hope. Endure. Don't go shake them by their shoulders. Trust in the One who is the Master-plan Designer and has everything under is control. Nothing goes on 'under his nose'. He knows. :)
King Zedekiah, well where do I begin?? He has an identity crisis. That, or he's very insecure. I mean he just goes with the flow, pretty much agrees with whomever is nearest in proximity at the time. I can see myself being like him too. I sometimes 'join the band-wagon'. I can follow the crowd just as well as anyone else. But why?? Why do I do that?? Is it because I want to fit in?? Is it because I'm afraid of looking different??
In my case (your may be different), I join the crowd sometimes, or change my mind alot, just to please other people. I've never thought of myself like this, but I am a people-pleaser. I don't like to disappoint people. I like to make people happy. I don't like it when people think bad of me. I want people to be 'on good terms' with me. And to accomplish that, I try and please them. I babysit their kids, I bake them cookies, I do things for them. Doing is my love-language, by the way...
But look where King Zedekiah's wishy-washyness got him. In one of the final decisions he made as king (before the Babylonians captured Jerusalem) he told Jeremiah to keep quiet about their conversation because he didn't want people talking about him, and thinking bad of him. How low?!?!? How shallow?!?!?
How us. How you. How me.
I think we need to understand something King Zeddy didn't. I think part of the reason he has security issues, is because he didn't know who he was. Or whose he was.
My youth group is call W.A.Y. It stands for Whose Are You? King Zeddy didn't know whose he was, but we can know. If anyone is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creation. He is a part of the family. He belongs to God.
He is God's.
You can be God's. We can know whose we are and who we are, all because God is our Father. Our worth and value is found in him and no one else.
So let's not join the band-wagon. Let's never lose hope for the people we are trying to witness to.
Let's remember that we belong to God. Let's remember that God is in control.
I love you all!
I'm so thankful God has given me an outlet through blogging where I can write down all the wonderful things He is teaching me! I'm so thankful that God has a plan for each and every single one of you, and that he is knocking on the door of your heart right now. Know that until you open that door, he will keep knocking.
He'll always keep knocking.
Because God knows whose you could be. He never loses hope.