Jeremiah called the people to pay attention to the voice of God. To hear what God said and to have faith and to trust Him regardless of the situation in which they find themselves. It was a dire one indeed. They were under siege by the Babylonian army and their very lives were being threatened as well as their corporate existence as a nation. God spoke to them through Jeremiah saying in essence, “I’ve got this under control. You can trust me.” But Israel would not listen and instead of trusting God to provide for them they turned to Egypt and other means to defend themselves against the invaders. I’m like that. I’d much rather figure a way out of my circumstances than trust God to manage things for me in the midst of trials and hardships.

I’m very much like the Philippian Jailer (Acts 16) who found himself in a dire situation when the earthquake released the prisoners with whom he had been entrusted. He knows he was in big trouble and that his very life might be in danger as he would be responsible for any escaped prisoners. He cries out to Paul, “what must I DO to be saved.” I always think there is something I must do! But Paul made it clear when he told the jailer to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” What must I do? Trust God and His provision for us in Christ. But Israel would not listen and Jeremiah records their response to God’s call in Jeremiah 6:18; “We will not pay attention.” Like us, the Israelites were so focused on doing things for themselves that they lost sight of the fact that there is a God who oversees all the affairs of man and who loves us and has our best interest foremost in mind. Israel, much like me, took matters into their own hands.

Whenever we do that there are consequences. When we trust ourselves instead of the one who has complete control we take a world upon our shoulders that is impossible for us to hold up. We always fail at this because we weren’t designed to carry the weight of the world. Jeremiah tells the Israelites and us what happens when we try to do that. In Jeremiah 6:18-19 he says, “Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.  Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words.” When I try to manipulate the world around me to fit my own designs, it is always a disaster! Isaiah spoke to the Northern Kingdom before they fell. In Isaiah 41:20 he says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand