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Follow Orders      Jer. 42:1-3, 5-6, 9-10, 19-22; 43:2      Aug. 14, 2011


Introduction

      If you ask a soldier about a most basic duty I think he would say, “to Follow Orders.

I think that is also true for a Christian.

 

 

1.   Follow Orders . . Request the Lord’s Guidance 42:1-3, 5-6

       A.   Request the Lord’s Guidance and . . Follow Him. 42:1-3

      1 Then all the commanders of the armies, along with Johanan son of Kareah, Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and

       all the people from the least to the greatest, approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said, “May our petition

       come before you; pray to the LORD your God on our behalf, on behalf of this entire remnant (for few of us

       remain out of the many, as you can see with your own eyes), 3 that the LORD your God may tell us the

       way we should walk and the thing we should do.”

 

      B.  Request the Lord’s Guidance and . . Faithfully Obey Him. 42:5-6

      5 And they said to Jeremiah, “As for every word the LORD your God sends you to tell us, if we don’t act

       accordingly, may the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us. 6 Whether it is pleasant or

       unpleasant, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we are sending you so that it may go

       well with us. We will certainly obey the voice of the LORD our God!”


       Do you know many times in history, and present church life, people asked for a Word from God and when it is given they do not want to follow. These people in the text seemed to be very earnest as they sent to Jeremiah for specific instructions form the Lord. They confirmed their intent to follow the word given to them from Jeremiah the prophet as they specifically told him they would obey this Word from the Lord. They said they would follow and do it faithfully. If a group or individual promises that today and carry through they will get significant notice and possible recognition from man and certainly from the Lord.


 

2.   Follow Orders Realizing the . . Relenting of the Lord. 42:9-10

      A.  The Promise to Relent because of their . . Sincere Request. 42:9

9 He said to them, “This is what the LORD says, the God of Israel to whom you sent me to bring your

       petition before Him:

 

      B.  The Promise to Relent if they . . Stay with the Lord’s Way. 42:10

      10 ‘If you will indeed stay in this land, then I will rebuild and not demolish you, and I will plant and not

       uproot you, because I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought on you.


       The Lord promised a certain judgement upon the people but He seems always ready to relent if His people

repent and change their ways which caused His judgement in the first place. We need to recognize that God does not repent but promises to relent of His plan for disaster. Repentance responds to sinful thoughts and ways but God never sins so He does not need to repent. His willingness to relent also has the idea that His prescribe punishment needs no further fulfillment than what the people have already received if they repent as promised. The catch to all of this rest on the people’s sincerity and willingness to stay with the Lord in the land He desires for them.



 

 

3.   Follow Orders As the . . Remnant of the Lord. 42:19-22

      A.  The Remnant Must Obey the . . Direction of the Lord. 49: 19-20

19 The LORD has spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah: ‘Don’t go to Egypt.’ Know for certain that I

       have warned you today! 20 You have led your own selves astray because you are the ones who sent me to

       the LORD your God, saying, ‘Pray to the LORD our God on our behalf, and as for all that the LORD our

       God says, tell it to us, and we’ll act accordingly.’

 

      B.  The Remnant Must Obey or . . Die in a Disobedient Lifestyle. 49:21-22

       21 For I have told you today, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God in everything He

       has sent me to tell you. 22 Now therefore, know for certain that by the sword, famine, and plague you

       will die in the place where you desired to go to live for a while.”


       These people can represent the remnant of the Lord if they obey His direction. Jeremiah senses these folks did not really want a Word from the Lord but a word that agreed with their thoughts and the actions they were taking. They wanted the kind of message the false prophets gave and not really a Word from the Lord. God told them through Jeremiah that if they continued in the way they were going they would die in the land they were choosing to travel. Death would come from the sword, famine, and plagues all allowed by the Lord. It is definitely a form of His judgement.

 

 

4.   Follow Orders Don’t . . Reject the Lord’s Guidance. 43:2

       A.   Don’t Reject by Refusing To . . Respond to God’s Prophet. 43:2a

2 then Azariah son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and all the other arrogant men responded to

       Jeremiah, . . .”

 

       B.   Don’t Reject by Refusing To . . Respect the Word of God’s Prophet. 43:2b

“ . . . “You are speaking a lie! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to live there for a while!’


       These people refused to obey or respect the man of God. Those kinds of actions are even worse as they were rejecting the Word from God. This people rejected God by refusing to respond to the Word of God’s prophet to the point of disrespecting him. They accused him of speaking a lie and not following the Lord in the message he brought to them. Have you ever heard a preacher say we will not get the officials God wants us to have but those we deserve. In elections and all of church life we need to seek the Lord’s will and

Follow Orders. Amen? Amen!