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Jeremiah 43 | Praying Without Listening

Jeremiah 43 Praying Without Listening
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In the continuation of Jeremiah’s prophetic narrative, we delve into the Daily Devotional on Jeremiah 43. This timeless text is building upon the events set in motion found in our Daily Devotional found on Jeremiah 41 and 42. Here, we encounter a striking parallel to modern struggles with faith and obedience. The narrative poses a poignant question: Have you ever sought guidance through prayer only to turn a deaf ear to the divine response? Jeremiah 43 presents us with a sobering account of a people who, despite pleading for intercession, obstinately cling to their own agendas, disregarding the voice of God conveyed through His prophet. In the Daily Devotional of Jeremiah 41 and 42, discover how we are so similar to the Israelites.

What is the Message in Jeremiah 43?

We witness a recurring theme of human resistance to divine instruction in Jeremiah 43. We observe a pattern of willful disobedience and a reluctance to align with God’s will. These reflections serve not only as historical markers but as poignant reminders of the perennial struggle between human desires and divine guidance.

May we examine our own prayer lives and attitudes towards divine counsel. The narrative of Jeremiah prompts introspection: Do we approach prayer with open hearts, genuinely seeking divine guidance, or do we merely seek validation for our predetermined plans? My we be challenged to reconsider our approach to prayer, recognizing it as a dialogue with the divine rather than a means to secure approval for our own agendas. Ultimately, the lessons gleaned from Jeremiah 43 implore us to cultivate a prayer life characterized by receptivity to God’s voice and a willingness to align our actions with His will.

Jeremiah 43 Commentary by Allen J. Huth

Today, we will cover Jeremiah 43. Have you ever asked someone to pray for you, then refused to listen to them? Have you prayed to God but refused to obey His answer? Please read or listen to the thirteen verses of Jeremiah 43.

Amazing. Absolutely amazing. Once again, these people will not do what they hear from Jeremiah. They will not obey the Word of the Lord. Let’s turn to my journals.

In 1991, I read Jeremiah 43-45 on the same day and concerning this chapter wrote, “People accuse Jeremiah of lying. They absolutely disobey God.”

I found a journal entry in 2004. I was reading Jeremiah with a couple of other books chronologically and read Jeremiah 40-44 on a certain day and wrote about this part of the reading, “Absolute willful disobedience. The remnant of Judah asks Jeremiah to intercede for them, promising to do everything Jeremiah hears from God. Ten days later, God speaks to Jeremiah. He proclaims it to those who asked and they accuse him of lying and refuse to obey.” Turning to 2016, I read Jeremiah 43 on one day and wrote, “Why ask, if we won’t listen? In chapter 42, Johanan pleads with Jeremiah to go to the Lord and ask Him what to do and says they will do whatever God reveals to him. Not really. What they wanted was God to rubber-stamp what they wanted to do and were going to do anyway, go to Egypt. Often we pray the same, not really for God to show us what His will is, rather for Him to approve what we want, and what we want to do. Because they did not hear what they wanted to hear from Jeremiah or the Lord, they did not obey the voice of the Lord. They took the remnant left that did not go to Babylon to Egypt including Jeremiah.”

Pray With an Open Heart

The application from Jeremiah 43 may be, how is your prayer life? How do you go to the Lord? Do you really go with an open heart and an open mind to hear from the Lord? Or do you go, like these people, with an agenda in mind, seeing if God will rubber-stamp what you want to do anyway?

These people did not say to Jeremiah they were thinking about going to Egypt. God revealed it to him. Once again, Jeremiah is bold enough to give the truth from God to the people though it is not what the people wanted to hear.

When you pray, are you willing to hear what you do not want to hear from the Lord? When you ask other people to pray, do you really want to hear from them? Are you willing to listen to the counsel of others in a decision you want to make? If not, why ask other people to pray for you?

Recently, Terry and I had a decision to make. We thought the decision we had to make was a blessing from the Lord. The day I called the person to tell him of our decision, God intervened. With that person, God gave us lots of new information. Were we to go on with the decision we thought we made or were we to listen to the new information.

I absolutely believe God prevented me from making that decision that day. I shared the new information with Terry. Oh yeah, we had prayed about the previous decision, but we needed to pray more. And we decided to visit with some other people about the choices we had to make.

We got wise Christian counsel from a couple of different people. Did we go to them to basically rubber-stamp the decision we wanted to make?  I hope not, and I do not think so. In fact, with one person I asked, “Have I given you slanted information so it appears you only can give us council one direction?” She said, “No.” Through this process, we reversed the decision we originally made.

In other words, we did not go to the Lord and ask Him to rubber-stamp a decision we thought we wanted to make. As best we could, we remained open to the Lord in our prayer, and He redirected our decision. We will not know the results of that decision for several years, but we pray we took the right steps. We prayed about it. We went to make the decision. We believe God prevented us from making it. We got new information. We went and got wise counsel from our Christian friends and people who are knowledgeable about the decision we needed to make, and we changed our decision.

So let’s go back to where we started. How is your prayer life? Do you take things to the Lord to really get His input? Or do you take things just to get His rubber-stamp? May we learn from the examples of scripture how to conduct our own lives.

Here in Jeremiah, we see a poor example of people who wanted someone to pray for them, but they already had what they wanted to do in mind. God is not going to bless them, and He might not bless us either when we go to Him that way.

Pray and Obey the Voice of God

Lord, through Your Word we pray we could learn how to pray more effectively, more appropriately, to You. Remind us, Lord, prayer is not just us talking to You, it is allowing You to speak to us. Because we spend time in Your Word, might You change our prayers toward You. We ask it, in Your name. Amen.

We invite you to watch the “Great News” video on this page and find out more about God’s love for you and how you can receive forgiveness and eternal life – today!

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The Prayer of Salvation

Jesus, I don't know You, and I don't know what Your plan is for me. But thank you for coming to die in my place. I'm sorry for anything I've ever done wrong in my life. I don't understand how You could ever forgive me, but if You really would, I would like to accept your free gift of grace and complete forgiveness. Please come into my life and take control, and help me trust You. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

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