Correction and an apology: Yesterday (Thursday) I got in a hurry and neglected to list the correct verses of the day.
I showed Jeremiah 38:8-10 instead of Jeremiah 38:20-23 .
to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
September 13, 2019 – Friday
Jeremiah 40:1-4 NIV
1 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captives from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.
2 When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreed this disaster for this place.
3 And now the Lord has brought it about; He has done just as He said He would. All this happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey Him.
4 But today I am freeing you from the chains on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”
Do you find it unusual the Nebuzaradan commander is being so lenient with Jeremiah? I do. I also find it odd (and significant) that the Babylonian general speaks as if he recognizes Jehovah as the God of Israel as well as Jeremiahs mission from Him. However a few commentaries cleared this up for me as such an acknowledgment did not mean any more than the belief of that every nation had its own special guardian deity.
The key is that the Nebuzaradan commander knew the people of Judah had not only sinned against the (their) Lord, but when given the opportunity to repent and obey they did not obey Him even then. Still, recognizing Jeremiah as a faithful prophet, he was given the choice of going into captivity under the production of the commander or he could stay in Judah.
Jeremiah, loving his people and his country chose to stay.
5 However, before Jeremiah turned to go, Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointed over the towns of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.” Then the commander gave him provisions and a present and let him go. 6 So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.
With the Lord approving of one’s actions, even in the worst of circumstances one can end up being blessed. This only happens when one is seeking the Lord’s will doing one’s best to live a life in His will. This is similar to how some prayers are closed with the phrase, “God’s will will be done.” Of course this is always true, His will will be done. The question we have to consider is whether or not our will is within His will.
It’s Friday and I hope you all have a great weekend especially remembering to go to Church. Remember too that church is the classroom and outside the four walls of the church is where you apply the lessons you learn therein.
(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)