Obedience and Blessings

And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.” Jeremiah 35:18-19 NKJV

Obey – obedience is one of those words in which I was cautioned not to say too often when one of my first blog posts was about how obedience is often the connection between faith and outcomes. People do not mind learning the concepts but the word has been used in a condemning way far too often. Obey God. And if the fact that He says to is not enough for you – well, that is ok. God knew it would be. So He reminds us over and over that there are extra blessings in obedience.  It is ok and actually a deep truth – that we as mankind DO come to God for blessings – because we have needs.

Dear Heavenly Father – As always, please open eye to see and our ears to hear what you are saying! Lord – open our understanding that we may know you and give us wisdom. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is from the book of Jeremiah chapters 35-37 (embedded below the image below for your convenience.  Chapter 35 is a beautiful lesson is obedience – God told this family to come into Jerusalem for safety and suddenly they aren’t feeling very safe – and God uses them as an object lesson and then promises them safety – or at least a place before Him always.

Chapters 36 and 37 are all about the human struggle of right and wrong.  They keep getting warned and then they start to turn to God and then turn away and repeat over and over again. It is so like humans – “Help we need God to save us… oh wait, never mind, I think I’ve got it.”
Kinda makes me wish there was a nice lesson about obedience near here somewhere to we could compare and say – Oh look the Lord is good!

It sometimes seems so difficult to submit and obey – but then when you do – you learn His way is better. Even though, God’s way kept Jeremiah in prison too often – even though it lead to Jeremiah getting beat. Even though the Apostle Paul was also beat and thrown in jail – and so what the Apostle Peter. Yes – even with so many obedient disciples beaten and thrown in jail – God’s ways are better – His plan is better – He knows the plans He has for us and it is to prosper in captivity (Jer. 29:11).  But first we may have to be captured. I tell you this with ALL HOPE! ALL HOPE in GOD!!!

It is evil and perilous times – but if we are obedient we have the HOPE that will sustain us and the grace that is sufficient!

“If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 2:3 KJV

The Lord is so very gracious! It is all about that grace!

Speaking of GRACE – today is the second day of my sister’s birthday week and we are keeping her bathed in prayer. Her name is Laurie.  Let me share another story about her. Even though we were very close – we were also very competitive.  Why she would want to compete against me was always so out of my understanding. She was a good student and neuro-typical. I have many diagnoses of learning problems, ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome, etc.  When in social situations where our parents were not with us, she would assume my mother’s role of keeping me on task, interpreting the world for me, and reminding me not to flap my hand, self-stim, get too loud, and generally how to behave.  I looked up to her and competed to be more like her – seemed logical. So why would she want to compete with me? She felt called to be a mother – I did not seem to have a maternal bone in my body. She wanted to have twins more than anything. I figured I would just be the cool aunt.

To all of our surprise I came home from college pregnant and unmarried. To all of our surprise I raised the baby alone and became a “good mother”.  And year, after year, after year passed and my sister played the cool aunt role well. Failed marriages and relationships later, failed fertility treatments later, failed planning and timing later, her biological clock ran out. My baby is an adult and getting ready to make me a grandma and her the cool grand-aunt if she can let go of the anger.  I did not mean to beat her to the child – I could not give him to her when God gave him to me.  I could not fix her. 

I can say with confidence that MY GOD NEVER FAILS. So there must be something here we missed or did not see. I know my God and He can STILL give her a baby or two!!! Or even a whole orphanage full!!!

I have gotten into the secret place and spent time with my Father – I know in whom I believe and He is able! The rest of that thought is about Him keeping what we commit to Him and obviously in her backsliding – she did not fully commit this to Him. But what about Abraham and Sarah (and the poor slave girl they abused). They did not fully commit it to God when they tried to do it their way.  Yet God was faithful.

I have a multitude of unanswered prayers. Some I started praying for as a child. And I still bring them before God. Like the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego, said: Our God is able, but even if He doesn’t I will not bow.  So, I take these prayers to God and say I know you are able – but if you say no or later or say nothing at all I will still believe – I will still fall into obedience – I will still surrender to your will.

As our days get more complicated, As the Middle East becomes unstable, As Israel struggles with internal and external enemies, As I watch an acquaintance’s daughter struggle for her life in the hospital (after having been vaccinated) and see my acquaintance cry out to the witches to do something to save her child, As I see my sister run a crossed the globe fleeing the calling on her life…… Oh friends, we are made for such a time as this! We are made to make a difference if in no other way – than to just get into the quiet secret place with God and have a relationship with Him. That alone – changes the future dramatically!

It is like one of those sci-fi time traveling shows were people are so careful not to disrupt even the smallest thing as it had a big impact in the future! So why aren’t we doing the small thing of spending time with God, to impact and change the future!!

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

MEMORY WORK: As I promised, this year is full of memory verses that when the enemy comes up against us we can quote: It is written! Just as Jesus did when the devil tempted him. I know I have the victory and I must just stand fast and continue to submit to God… so let us memorize and quote this with authority! So as we submit, we can remind the old devil where he can go!

Matthew 18:18-19

NKJV – “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NAS – “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven.”
ESV – “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
AMP – “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth shall have [already] been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.”
NIV – “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bebound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will beloosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Jeremiah 35-37 NKJV

The Obedient Rechabites

35 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Go to the house of the Rechabites, speak to them, and bring them into the house of the Lord, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.”

Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, his brothers and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of the Lord, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, a man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the [a]door. Then I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine.”

But they said, “We will drink no wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall drink no wine, you nor your sons, forever. You shall not build a house, sow seed, plant a vineyard, nor have any of these; but all your days you shall dwell in tents, that you may live many days in the land where you are sojourners.’ Thus we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; nor do we have vineyard, field, or seed. 10 But we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. 11 But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, ‘Come, let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans and for fear of the army of the Syrians.’ So we dwell at Jerusalem.”

12 Then came the word of the Lord to Jeremiah, saying, 13 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, “Will you not receive instruction to [b]obey My words?” says the Lord. 14 “The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, which he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; for to this day they drink none, and obey their father’s commandment. But although I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, you did not [c]obey Me. 15 I have also sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way, amend your doings, and do not go after other gods to serve them; then you will dwell in the land which I have given you and your fathers.’ But you have not inclined your ear, nor obeyed Me. 16 Surely the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father, which he commanded them, but this people has not obeyed Me.” ’

17 “Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I will bring on Judah and on all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the doom that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken to them but they have not heard, and I have called to them but they have not answered.’ ”

18 And Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Because you have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts and done according to all that he commanded you, 19 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.” ’ ”

The Scroll Read in the Temple

36 Now it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, that this word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”

Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah; and Baruch wrote on a scroll of a book, [d]at the instruction of Jeremiah, all the words of the Lord which He had spoken to him. And Jeremiah commanded Baruch, saying, “I am confined, I cannot go into the house of the Lord. You go, therefore, and read from the scroll which you have written [e]at my instruction, the words of the Lord, in the hearing of the people in the Lord’s house on the day of fasting. And you shall also read them in the hearing of all Judah who come from their cities. It may be that they will present their supplication before the Lord, and everyone will turn from his evil way. For great is the anger and the fury that the Lord has pronounced against this people.” And Baruch the son of Neriah did according to all that Jeremiah the prophet commanded him, reading from the book the words of the Lord in the Lord’s house.

Now it came to pass in the fifth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, in the ninth month, that they proclaimed a fast before the Lord to all the people in Jerusalem, and to all the people who came from the cities of Judah to Jerusalem. 10 Then Baruch read from the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphan the scribe, in the upper court at the entry of the New Gate of the Lord’s house, in the [f]hearing of all the people.

The Scroll Read in the Palace

11 When Michaiah the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan, heard all the words of the Lord from the book, 12 he then went down to the king’s house, into the scribe’s chamber; and there all the princes were sitting—Elishama the scribe, Delaiah the son of Shemaiah, Elnathan the son of Achbor, Gemariah the son of Shaphan, Zedekiah the son of Hananiah, and all the princes. 13 Then Michaiah declared to them all the words that he had heard when Baruch read the book in the hearing of the people. 14 Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, to Baruch, saying, “Take in your hand the scroll from which you have read in the hearing of the people, and come.” So Baruch the son of Neriah took the scroll in his hand and came to them. 15 And they said to him, “Sit down now, and read it in our hearing.” So Baruch read it in their hearing.

16 Now it happened, when they had heard all the words, that they looked in fear from one to another, and said to Baruch, “We will surely tell the king of all these words.” 17 And they asked Baruch, saying, “Tell us now, how did you write all these words—[g]at his instruction?”

18 So Baruch answered them, “He proclaimed with his mouth all these words to me, and I wrote them with ink in the book.”

19 Then the princes said to Baruch, “Go and hide, you and Jeremiah; and let no one know where you are.”

The King Destroys Jeremiah’s Scroll

20 And they went to the king, into the court; but they stored the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the hearing of the king. 21 So the king sent Jehudi to bring the scroll, and he took it from Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the hearing of the king and in the hearing of all the princes who stood beside the king. 22 Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning on the hearth before him. 23 And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. 24 Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words. 25 Nevertheless Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah implored the king not to burn the scroll; but he would not listen to them. 26 And the king commanded Jerahmeel [h]the king’s son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel, to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the Lord hid them.

Jeremiah Rewrites the Scroll

27 Now after the king had burned the scroll with the words which Baruch had written [i]at the instruction of Jeremiah, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: 28 “Take yet another scroll, and write on it all the former words that were in the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah has burned. 29 And you shall say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, ‘Thus says the Lord: “You have burned this scroll, saying, ‘Why have you written in it that the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here?’ ” 30 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim king of Judah: “He shall have no one to sit on the throne of David, and his dead body shall be cast out to the heat of the day and the frost of the night. 31 I will punish him, his [j]family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed.” ’ ”

32 Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah, who wrote on it [k]at the instruction of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire. And besides, there were added to them many similar words.

Zedekiah’s Vain Hope

37 Now King Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land gave heed to the words of the Lord which He spoke by the prophet Jeremiah.

And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Pray now to the Lord our God for us.” Now Jeremiah was coming and going among the people, for they had not yet put him in prison. Then Pharaoh’s army came up from Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they departed from Jerusalem.

Then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Thus you shall say to the king of Judah, who sent you to Me to inquire of Me: “Behold, Pharaoh’s army which has come up to help you will return to Egypt, to their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire.” ’ Thus says the Lord: ‘Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely depart from us,” for they will not depart. 10 For though you had defeated the whole army of the Chaldeans who fight against you, and there remained only wounded men among them, they would rise up, every man in his tent, and burn the city with fire.’ ”

Jeremiah Imprisoned

11 And it happened, when the army of the Chaldeans left the siege of Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, 12 that Jeremiah went out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin to claim his property there among the people. 13 And when he was in the Gate of Benjamin, a captain of the guard was there whose name was Irijah the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are defecting to the Chaldeans!”

14 Then Jeremiah said, [l]“False! I am not defecting to the Chaldeans.” But he did not listen to him.

So Irijah seized Jeremiah and brought him to the princes. 15 Therefore the princes were angry with Jeremiah, and they struck him and put him in prison in the house of Jonathan the scribe. For they had made that the prison.

16 When Jeremiah entered the dungeon and the cells, and Jeremiah had remained there many days, 17 then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?”

And Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, “You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon!”

18 Moreover Jeremiah said to King Zedekiah, “What offense have I committed against you, against your servants, or against this people, that you have put me in prison? 19 Where now are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you or against this land’? 20 Therefore please hear now, O my lord the king. Please, let my petition be accepted before you, and do not make me return to the house of Jonathan the scribe, lest I die there.”

21 Then Zedekiah the king commanded that they should commit Jeremiah to the court of the prison, and that they should give him daily a piece of bread from the bakers’ street, until all the bread in the city was gone. Thus Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison.

Footnotes

a Jeremiah 35:4 Lit. threshold

b Jeremiah 35:13 listen to

c Jeremiah 35:14 listen to

d Jeremiah 36:4 Lit. from Jeremiah’s mouth

e Jeremiah 36:6 Lit. from my mouth

f Jeremiah 36:10 Lit. ears

g Jeremiah 36:17 Lit. with his mouth

h Jeremiah 36:26 Or son of Hammelech

I Jeremiah 36:27 Lit. from Jeremiah’s mouth

j Jeremiah 36:31 Lit. seed

k Jeremiah 36:32 Lit. from Jeremiah’s mouth

l Jeremiah 37:14 a lie

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