to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
September 06, 2019 – Friday
Jeremiah 26:12-15 NIV
12 Then Jeremiah said to all the officials and all the people: “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the things you have heard.
13 Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster He has pronounced against you.
14 As for me, I am in your hands; do with me whatever you think is good and right.
15 Be assured, however, that if you put me to death, you will bring the guilt of innocent blood on yourselves and on this city and on those who live in it, for in truth the Lord has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing.”
Here Jeremiah once again provides the message given to him by God, but in summary form. He makes sure they know it is not his message, but a message from God. While it seems full of doom and gloom, it is not as the consequences of their sin was not irreversible. In fact verse thirteen makes this perfectly clear when Jeremiah states:
Now reform your ways and your actions and obey the Lord your God. Then the Lord will relent and not bring the disaster He has pronounced against you.
This is not unlike the promise God made through Jonah over two hundred years earlier to the city-nation of Nineveh, a people considered to be the most evil of their time.
3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. Jonah 3
So what happened in Nineveh? Two verses tell much of the rest of the story.
6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust.
10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened.
However, the people of Nineveh returned to their evil ways and the city was destroyed during the time of Jeremiah between 613-611 BC.
Judah, like Nineveh two hundred years earlier, had a decision to make. Would they repent like Nineveh and avoid God’s judgment or would continue their sinful ways. We know they eventually chose to continue in their sins, but we also know they could have enjoyed a continuance of peace and prosperity.
The question for us is like that to both Nineveh and Judah, what will we choose to do? All too often we want to wait to the last minute to commit our lives to God, repenting , and accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. It is like the man who plans on waiting until five minutes before midnight (when death is near), but finds out it arrived at eleven thirty and now it is too late.
It is a dangerous game to play Russian Roulette when the consequences are eternal. Pray that your loved ones and those who consider themselves our enemies do not wait too long. Pray they will accept the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ sooner rather than later. Ask for corporate prayer for the lost-unsaved while at church this weekend.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)