Learn To Obey The Lord     Jer. 11:6-14     April 03-05

        Why should the people of God have to be encouraged to trust the Lord? We ought to demonstrate for all the false religions of the world how we obey God. In reality it is sad to note that sometimes pagans appear to demonstrate more trust in their false gods than Christians demonstrate to the one true God. Many times today false religionists sacrifice their life for a cause they believe their god inspires, and far too many Christians lack in commitment.

1.    The . . Plea Presented In Learning To Obey the Lord. 11:6-7

A. The . . Planning of the Plea. 11:6
    6 The Lord said to me, "Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Obey the words of this covenant and carry them out.

B.    The . . Persistence of the Plea. 11:7
    7 For I strongly warned your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt until today, warning them time and time again: Obey My voice.

        It is sad to read of our Lord presenting a plea for His people to obey Him. He presents a plan for Jeremiah to proclaim His plea in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. This appeal is simply: "Obey the words of this covenant and carry them out." As usual the Lord persistently reminds His people of His plea. As a parent I enjoyed telling my children once to do something and then watching them obey. I am sure God enjoys instant obedience; so let/s learn to do that.

2.    The . . Punishment Promised in Learning To Obey the Lord. 11:8-10

A.    Punishment Related to the . . Covenant.
    8 Yet they would not obey or pay attention; each one followed the stubbornness of his evil heart. So I brought on them all the curses of this covenant, because they had not done what I commanded [them] to do."

B.    Punishment Related to the . . Conspiracy.
    9 The Lord said to me, "A conspiracy has been discovered among the men of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors who refused to obey My words and have followed other gods to worship them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah broke My covenant I made with their ancestors.

        Have you noticed how easily we remember promised blessings but tend to forget the discipline if we fail to fulfill our part of the promise? Israel remembered how God's covenant promised to bless them; but neglected their part of the covenant, and the pending judgement related to their disobedience. Their disobedience expressed itself two ways as they rejected the Lord, and followed other gods. These acts found expression not only in the Northern Kingdom, but also in the Southern Kingdom. The Lord accuses His people of a conspiracy against Him as they return to the sins of their ancestors. The Hebrew word translated "conspiracy" means "an unlawful alliance." This is in contrast to a covenant. We need the challenge of this lesson so we do not repeat the mistakes of Jeremiah's day.

3.    The . . Proclamation Presented In Learning To Obey the Lord. 11:11-14

A.    Proclamation about the . . Disaster Promised. 11:11
        11 "Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am about to bring on them disaster that they
        cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not hear them.

B.    Proclamation about the . . Degrading Practices. 11:12-13
        12 Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods they have been burning incense to, but they certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. 13 Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, Judah, and the altars you have set up to Shame--altars to burn incense to Baal--as numerous as the streets of Jerusalem.

C.    Proclamation about the . . Disabled Prayers. 11:14
        14 "As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.

        A proclamation comes from the Lord concerning disaster. He will be the author of this disaster and there will be no escape. It is interesting in scripture how many times the Lord says He will not hear the cries of unrepentant people. It is obvious their words are not connected to their hearts. They have degrading practices of godless worship, and God calls attention to their worship practices, and the abundance of their pagan altars. Jeremiah is told, "do not pray for these people." What a spiritual state of disabled prayer. They will cry out urgently to the Lord but He will refuse to hear. Therefore, it is useless for them to pray for themselves, and their prophet is told not to pray for them. Obviously their prayers are not connected with the repentance God desires. These people called on Baal and other false gods but we know, and God says they cannot answer. Their disobedience left them in this predicament. As the lesson title urges, Let us Learn To Obey The Lord. Amen? Amen!