Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us. (Jeremiah 42:6)
Relate: Way back in the days when I was in high school there was one of those songs that, if it got in your head, would stay there all day. Earlier this summer I was actually riding in a car to a wedding with a big fan of Alanis so I guess it was a little bit ironic that those lyrics: “It’s like rain on your wedding day” would end up getting stuck in my head even though it was a beautiful day and a picturesque location for a wedding. Seriously, you couldn’t have asked for a better day.
The very next line in that song says, “It’s the good advice, that you just didn’t take…” Think about that for a minute. Have you ever been there? You ask someone for some advice and it turns out that what they offer sounds really good except it wasn’t what you were planning on doing. So you thank them for their wisdom only to ignore it and fail.
Jeremiah was there. After the fall of Jerusalem, the survivors in Israel are in turmoil. The man the Babylonians had placed in charge had just been assassinated. Now there is a very legitimate fear that Babylon will come down plundering and pillaging in retribution. Jerusalem itself is still a smoldering husk of a city at the forefront of everybody’s minds so the fear, the helplessness of their situation. They come through Jeremiah to God for advice. He tells them to stay. Rebuild. Work it out. They ignore Him. They go to Egypt. It is safer there. Everybody dies there. Who would have thought it? Ironic.
React: About a decade after Ironic, there was another song that was both very popular and catchy: “Jesus take the wheel. Take it from my hands. Cause I can’t do this on my own. I’m letting go. So give me one more chance. To save me from this road I’m on.” Wouldn’t it have been awesome if the Israelites, after asking God which way they should go actually followed the advice God gave them? Wouldn’t it have been great it they embraced the pathos of the later song rather than feeling the regret of the former? Wouldn’t it be great if we did the same? All too often I refuse to let go. I refuse to listen. And then I end up kicking myself for the failure.
God help me to be obedient to You. You have shown me which way to go. You’ve given me 66 books worth of instructions and have placed Your Spirit in me to lead and guide me. There is no lack of advice. But all too often there is not nearly enough obedience. For that, I’m sorry. Help me to better follow through. Help me to learn surrender.