Our reading this week comes from Jeremiah 38-42. But I want to use a verse from chapter 37 and 38 as our thought for the week. Jeremiah 37:21 and 38:9; “until all the bread in the city was gone.” and “for there was no more bread in the city.” When we think of the promise of God that there would be war, fire, pestilence and famine in Jerusalem, these verse become prophetic. In Amos 8:11 we read “Behold the days are coming declares the Lord God, when I will send famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, rather for hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and from the north even to the east; they will go to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, But they will not find it.” I believe that we are living in a day and time when people are actually thirsting for the Truth and the “real” Word of God.” All preaching isn’t preaching, and all sermons aren’t a result of the Holy Spirit action on the messenger. Even though God had been sending prophet after prophet to tell Israel, Samaria and Judah of the impending judgment, they did not listen. Just as Zedekiah asked Jeremiah to inquire of the Lord for a word – when they already HAD THE WORD OF THE LORD. The message wasn’t what the King wanted to hear. We just heard from President Obama at the DNC about the hope for America, which I believe is a far cry from the truth about the future. Zedekiah listened to the false prophets of his day, yet rejected the Word of the Lord from Jeremiah until it was too late. Only when the city was being besieged did he ask Jeremiah for a Word. There are many today in America and the est of the world that are very good at wordsmithing a message that the people will embrace. But as we have read countless times “hearing they hear not, and seeing they see not.” For when God gave accurate warning of the judgment, Judah rejected the message. There are the preachers that preach a health and wealth message, along with those that give a “feel good” gospel. I cannot read that into the Bible. I see how that Jesus warned His disciples and us, that if we live for Him, all men will hate us. The church in America is in trouble, for we are creating too many “generational Churches.” Churches that play to a particular age or cultural sector. When Jeremiah gave Zedekiah the message of surrender to Nebuchadnezzar and live, or resist and die, he chose to resist. why do people ask for the Word of the Lord, then reject the message? Of course there was the hypocrisy of Zedekiah – oh don’t tell anybody that I’ve been talking to you! I heard the Pope say this week that the World is at War – with itself. In all the mass killings from ISIS and disillusioned humanity, I have to agree. This is a very difficult time in human history. I want to hear of HOPE, I want to hear that all will be fine. But my spirit tells me otherwise. The is Hope for the future at Obama said, but it is found in the sovereign Rule of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior upon the throne of David.
Back to the Famine – there was some 400 years of silence between the close of the Old Testament and the appearance of John the Baptist – 400 years with no Word from God! I can’t imagine a city without bread, yet we have thousands of cities today around the world without the Bread of God. Scripture speaks of preaching the word in season and out of season, when favorable and unfavorable. We are in a season of disfavor – Preach the Gospel anyway. Something about our reading this week, while Zedekiah had been captured, the city in ruins and famine for food; God wasn’t done yet. [Jeremiah 42:18]
As bad as things are in our generation – there is Hope, in Jesus’ blood and righteousness. But if we continue to resist against the Hand of God; more is surely to follow of His righteous judgment against sin and idolatry. Are you hungry, are you thirsty, “come Unto Me!