PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Wrong ConclusionJohn Tilton
Jeremiah 44:15-23 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.” The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, “Did not the LORD remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land? When the LORD could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today. Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”
The men and women of Israel drew the wrong conclusion even when faced with the truth communicated by God through Jeremiah. Although they asked Jeremiah to seek the Lord on their behalf which he did, and although he communicated God's will, they did not believe him and instead drew the wrong conclusion. Why? It seems perhaps that their heart, mind and motive were not right. First of all, it seems that their knowing that their wives were burning incense caused them to feel that tradition and ritual was important. They then both concluded incorrectly that as they burned incense to the Queen of Heaven, they reaped blessings. However, Jeremiah corrected them to see that although God let their sin continue for a while, it was their actions of burning incense the cause God to withdraw their blessings. Their response was to disobey God's will and warning. The saying is being "hard head."
So often we can tend to do the same and draw the wrong conclusions given facts before us. We perhaps do not realize that our actions are sinful and that we are not being called to account ... yet. How can this happen? Perhaps the heart and mind of how we are coming to our conclusions. It's like the fish who takes a bite of the bait thinking it's being fed free anc clear, only to have the fisherman jerk on the hook and reel it in. If we are spending time in His Word, we will be able to see the sin of our ways and thereby not continue to swim with the bait of wrath to come in our mouths. The discernment that enables us to know the path that we should take is knowing God's will through His word, thereby feeding ourselves to know His will. In the Old Testament, God spoke through prophets. Today, God speaks to us through His word and through our prayer life in His small still voice. Our conclusions in life will be righteous and beneficial when we are in tune with God's will through His word and our time in prayer and reflection.
Dear Lord, may I be reminded and dutiful in my devotions, prayers and reflection that I will know and discern your will and what are the paths that I should take, thereby making the right decisions and not making the wrong decisions or conclusions in disobedience.