A murderous plot carried out as greed and betrayal change the course of the remnant (chap. 41). Graphically warned not to go to Egypt, the people accuse Jeremiah of lying and he is forcibly taken with them (chap. 42-43). The reason for their destruction? Thus saith the Lord (44:23).
Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us. Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God (Jer. 42:5-6).
Words can sometimes come all too easy. They are often spoken without careful thinking, or without any intentions of fulfilling the promises behind them. Frivolous speech has become normal in our society. We have adopted the bad habit of telling people what they want to hear instead of giving them the truth.
There is little value placed on the truth today. Deception has become commonly accepted. We say that “little white lies” do no harm. Nowhere is this more apparent than in advertising. There is always fine print included in every offer. Another trend today is that of creative resizing and repackaging. Manufacturers lower quantities or weights, instead of raising prices. We all notice a price increase, but few of us notice a smaller package. If you don't believe this, try to buy a “half gallon” of ice cream. With most brands, there is no half gallon any more. No matter what you call them, these deceptions, "half-truths" and "white lies," are all lies, plain and simple. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God (John 3:21).
It goes without saying then, that a person's word does not have the value that it once had. Trust is not freely given in today's society, instead it must be earned.
The promises we make should not be made to be broken. We should always intend to follow through. God always keeps His promises, and He expects us to keep ours. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).
In these verses from the Book of Jeremiah, we find a group seeking counsel from the Lord. They tell Jeremiah they will do whatever the Lord says do. However, their minds were already made up on their course of action. It is not wise to make a commitment to God unless you are sure you intend to keep your word.
As believers in Christ, it should be a desire of our heart to do all that we commit ourselves to do. Our word not only represents our integrity, but many will look to our status as a believer when our words and our actions don't match. We may be labeled as a liar, and rightfully so. As Christ followers, what we do reflects on the whole body of Christ.
If something happens and we do not keep our word, we need to do our best to own our actions. Repent of the unfulfilled promise to God, and ask forgiveness of those to whom a promise was made but not kept.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil (Luke 11:4).
Thought for Today:
It is good to know that evil's victories do not last. God always wins in the end.
By My servants the prophets (Jer. 44:4). God the Father called Jesus My Servant, whom I have chosen (Matt. 12:17-18; Acts 3:20-21), and Jesus was recognized as that Prophet that should come into the world (John 6:14; see also Matt. 21:11; Luke 24:19).
41:1 seed royal, royal family; 41:9 pit, cistern; 41:14 cast about, turned around; 42:18 execration, curse, object of disgust and shame; 42:20 dissembled, were deceitful; 43:3 setteth thee on, incites or influences you.
Prayer Suggestion: Encourage others to praise the Lord throughout the day (Ps. 67:5).
Optional Reading: >Jude 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:12