October 23 – “I Will Obey the Voice of the LORD” … If It Matches My Desires

Jeremiah 42:1-44:23
2 Timothy 2:1-21
Psalm 92:1-93:5
Proverbs 26:3-5

Jeremiah 42:2-3 — It’s about time! Jerusalem has fallen, the military governor was assassinated, the assassin’s coup was scattered, and those who are left want to listen to God finally … or do they?

Jeremiah 43:2 — God gave them a simple command, “Stay put (Jeremiah 42:10-12)!” They claimed they would obey (Jeremiah 42:2-3), not just once but twice (Jeremiah 42:5-6), and they even called Jeremiah a liar.

Jeremiah 43:3 — Baruch is again named. According to Josephus (Ant. x. 9, § 1), Baruch was a member of a very distinguished family.

Jeremiah 43:8 — Where is Tanpanhes? Roughly along the Suez Canal in Egypt. The children of Israel are regressing. They lost their kingdom, they did what was right in their own eyes, they recrossed the Sinai, and now they’ve returned to Egypt!

Jeremiah 43:12 — So one invasion and defeat isn’t enough! There’s another one coming!

Jeremiah 44:8 — They disobeyed with a king, they disobeyed without a king, and now they’re offering incense to the gods of Egypt!

Jeremiah 44:17 — Who is the “queen of heaven?” The “queen of heaven” is a false idol similar to Baal. We know this because vs. 16 says they will not listen to the voice of the LORD but to this other one. They ascribe their blessings not to the LORD but to the “queen.” We then see that the LORD regarded it as an evil abomination (Jeremiah 44:22).

2 Timothy 2:1 — Paul wants his son Timothy to be strong. As strong as a soldier (2 Timothy 2:3), as strong as an athlete (2 Timothy 2:5), and as strong as a farmer (2 Timothy 2:6).

2 Timothy 2:11-13 — Many people believe Paul is quoting an ancient hymn. This hymn emphasized the cost of discipleship – death, suffering, refusal to deny Jesus. And yet even if we don’t believe, it doesn’t matter. God’s Word still stands!

2 Timothy 2:15 — The AWANA theme verse! AWANA stands for “Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed.” Four million kids every week are studying God’s Word because Lance Latham and Art Rorheim started a ministry to kids in Chicago.

2 Timothy 2:19 — We are told that we are under grace, and that the Old Testament Law doesn’t govern us. Yes, the 613 laws of the Old Testament are given to Israel for a previous dispensation. One-third dealt with the Temple and 1/3 were conditional, so the average Israelite didn’t have as much of a burden as we think. In contrast, we have over 1,000 imperatives given to us in the New Testament. We are commanded to depart from iniquity. We are held to a higher standard than Israel was. We are called to be a “vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use (2 Timothy 2:21).”

Psalm 92:2 — Morning by morning and evening by evening, let’s praise the LORD!

Psalm 93:4 — The oceans cover 71% of the world’s surface. A hurricane produces “200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity.” Yet the LORD is mightier!

Proverbs 26:4-5 — How do we handle contradictory statements? In our society we have dueling maxims:

  • “Haste makes waste” & “Strike while the iron is hot”
  • “A penny saved is a penny earned” & “Penny wise, pound foolish”

The challenge is to deal with the fool without being like him. Let’s avoid being a fool (Proverbs 26:12, 29:20).

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