Whose God Do We Follow?

jeremiah.jpgThe sins of Israel led them into captivity under the Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 39). The King allowed some people to remain in the land of Judah (Jeremiah 39:10). Gedaliah the Governor of the land protected Jeremiah until assassins vacated his throne (Jeremiah 40-41).
Johanan takes the people of God towards Egypt. Johanan comes to Jeremiah and asks, “Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the Lord your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), that the Lord your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do” (Jeremiah 42:2-3, NKJV). Jeremiah assures them that he will petition God on their behalf and they must be ready for what the Lord will say.
God waits ten days, telling Jeremiah that they must remain in the land of Babylon, and submit to the King (Jeremiah 42:7-22). Angrily, they reply to Jeremiah. “Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, ‘You speak falsely! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to dwell there'” (Jeremiah 43:2). They go to Egypt anyway, taking Jeremiah with them. Judgment comes upon them and the nation of Egypt, while Jeremiah’s faithfulness brings life.
Johanan’s subtle word usage is very interesting. He comes to Jeremiah to ask what “your” God desires. When the forthcoming answer is displeasing to him, he claims that “our” God did not say that. This mentality is all too common.
Man will often rationalize what he wants to be correct so he can find peace of mind./1 He will create a god in his image so he will always find verification for his fleshly desires. The self-denial required of this lie is comprehensive. Everything must be reoriented to suit this new reality.
God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:27).
God is the Lord of Heaven and earth. He possesses the right to life and death. We submit to him or find ourselves under his judgment (1 Peter 5:6). We cannot try to wrestle authority away from him without consequence (Psalm 99:1). Paul wrote, “Let God be true but every man a liar” (Romans 3:4). Only he is God, man is a pretender. We are not prepared to “fight against God,” no matter what preparations we make (Acts 5:39; Job 38-41).
Approaching Scripture with such a domineering attitude will bring similar results. Paul warned against stepping outside of Scripture because it brings vanity (1 Corinthians 4:6). Manipulating God’s Word rather than bowing ourselves to its truths will bring storms of misery upon our lives. The man who tries to force Scripture to be his own toy is no better than Jehoiakim, king of Judah, who attempted to destroy God’s Word in the fire (Jeremiah 36:20-32).
We must realize that God’s truths existed before men and their folly (Psalm 119:89). The only wise alternative left to man is to submit, rather than trying to substitute our will for his. God’s criterion for judgment also predated man, so man cannot alter or avoid it (Revelation 20:11-15).
Creating a god in our own image will bring fleeting satisfaction. However, it will yield an eternity of horror (Matthew 8:12)
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1/ http://tinyurl.com/3a49eu

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