DODGE DISASTER      Jer. 44:2-10, 18, 28          MAY 15,2005
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As a child did you ever play Dodge Ball. Have you seen the new TV shown emphasizing such a game as Dodge Ball? Spiritually the world, flesh, and Devil want to hit us with a damaging blow. However the Lord will enable us to Dodge Disaster.

1.    Dodge Disaster Cause by . . Service to False Gods. 44:2-10

A.    Avoid the Disaster of Serving In . . Spiritual Adultery . 44:2-3
    2 "This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You have seen all the disaster I brought against Jerusalem and all Judah's cities; look, they are a ruin today without an inhabitant in them 3 because of their evil ways that provoked Me to anger, going and burning incense to serve other gods they, you, and your fathers did not know.

B.    Avoid the Disaster of Service In . . Slighting the Prophets of God . 44:4-5
    4 So I sent you all My servants the prophets time and time again, saying, Don't do this detestable thing that I hate. 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their evil or stop burning incense to other gods.

    The people of Israel did not Dodge Disaster even though they knew better than to serve false gods. God elsewhere refers to their actions as spiritual adultery. How could the people with the many blessings of God chase after false gods, their teaching, and practices of burning incense. It provoked God to anger. He says they did not know these gods, but in contrast they knew Him. They slighted the prophets God sent to them by rejecting the message they delivered.

2.    Dodge Disaster Caused by . . Spiritual Suicide . 44:6-8

A.    Avoid the Disaster Cause by the . . Past Actions of Spiritual Suicide. 44:6
    6 So My fierce wrath poured forth and burned in Judah's cities and Jerusalem's streets so that
they became the desolate ruin they are today.

B.    Avoid the Disaster Cause by the . . Present Actions of Spiritual Suicide. 44:7-8
    7 "So now, this is what the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves? You are cutting off man and woman, child and infant from Judah, leaving yourselves without a remnant. 8 You are provoking Me to anger by the work of your hands. You are burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live for a while. As a result, you will be cut off and become an object of cursing and insult among all the nations of earth.

    Israel committed spiritual suicide in their past actions, and in so doing they did not Dodge Disaster.  Their past sins caused Jerusalem to lie in ruins. The text reports they continuously caused God's anger. Throughout the years, as God predicted, Israel is ridiculed for not being wise enough to serve their God.

3.    Dodge Disaster Caused by . . Self Sufficiency. 44:9-10

A.    Avoid the Disaster Cause from the Self Sufficiency of. . Forgetting God. 4:9
    9 Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, the evils of Judah's kings, the evils of their
wives, your own evils, and the evils of your wives that were committed in the land of Judah and
in the streets of Jerusalem?

B.    Avoid the Disaster Cause from the Self Sufficiency of not . . Fearing God. 4:10
    10 They have not become humble to this day, and they have not feared or walked by My law or My statutes that I set before you and your ancestors.

    Self sufficiency caused Israel to experience disaster rather than avoid it. In their self sufficiency they forgot God, and His blessings to them. The forgot how God had punished the disobedience of their fathers, or chose not to believe that was the cause of the disaster hoovering over them. They forgot God, and that produced an absence in the fear of God, and His judgements. American seems to refuse to acknowledge many of our woes come from our rejection of God. If we look at past generations we can see a weaken of moral fibber in the fabric of today's society, but few say it is because we are forgetting God and His laws.

4.    Dodge the Disaster Caused by . . Scoffing God. 44:18

A.    Avoid the Disaster Cause Scoffing God's . . Provisions. 4:18 a
    18 but from the time we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to offer her drink

B.    Avoid the Disaster Cause by Scoffing God's . . Protection. 4:18 a
    "offerings, we have lacked everything, and through sword and famine we have met our end."

    To top off all Israel did, they add scoffing God's provisions by burning incense to the pagan god called the Queen of Heaven. They gave her credit for their provisions, or a failure to worship her as the cause for a lack of blessing. They also scoffed God and gave this so called queen of heaven credit for their past protection. Truly they did not Dodge Disaster but brought it upon them selves.

5.    Dodge the Disaster by . . Submitting God. 44:18

A.    Avoid Disaster by Submitting to God's . . Plan. 4:28 a
    Those who escape the sword will return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah only few in number, and the whole remnant of Judah, the ones going to the land of Egypt to live there for a while,

B.    Avoid Disaster by Submitting to God's . . Promise. 4:28 a
    "will know whose word stands, Mine or theirs!

    The lesson now guides us positively to avoid disaster by submitting to God. A remnant goes to Egypt to live for a while as they escaped the sword, and the captivity. How did they do that? They submitted to, and followed God's plan. They believed He could and would do what His plan indicated. This remnant also submitted to God's promises and received the blessing of seeing His promise come true. His word stands, and that message rings throughout history. May we follow the example of the remnant and Dodge Disaster. Amen? Amen!