Have you ever seen a child who doesn’t want to hear something someone else might have to say? They may cover their ears and shake their heads all the while shouting, “Lalalalala I can’t hear you!” As we grow into adults, we may not exhibit such an immature outward appearance, but we may metaphorically demonstrate this attitude by expressing our actions in other ways.
King Jehoiakim in the book of Jeremiah revealed this attitude of immaturity when he had Jeremiah’s scroll burned up. Held within the scroll were the words of ADONAI to Jehoaikim. These words were all the things that Jehoakim didn’t want to hear. The Holy One was upset with Israel, Judah, and other nations for not observing His commands and ignoring His presence all together. They had become a corrupt and wicked nation, following after other gods and following the ways of the pagans.
Before we ascribe this story as mere fiction, or perhaps even as an attitude that belonged only to an archaic, ancient people and God, let’s look at the case with modern eyes and ears. What if someone you knew were to hand you a book, and conveyed within this book are the troublesome things God has taken notice that you do. You take the book and go to a secret place to look (because who would want to read such a book out in the open?!) and in it lies things like:
- I noticed you’d rather be on your phone than talk to Me.
- I noticed you visit websites and look at things you really shouldn’t be.
- I noticed that you are not being very kind to your spouse.
- I noticed that you are not being very patient with your kids.
- I noticed that you don’t really think about Me throughout the day and only come to Me when you need something.
Say that when you looked at this list you become annoyed, embarrassed, or even so enraged to the point that you rip up the page in a million pieces, throw it into a bucket, and light it on fire. The physical list, and even the memory of it may be gone, but would it make it any less true? Just because you have decided to ignore it, put it out of your mind, or just simply not believe it, does it make it any less real? The answer is no, it doesn’t.
And God is not pointing out these things to be a nag or to make you feel bad. He wants to show you the ways in which you may have been deceived by the enemy and that keep you from peace, joy, and contentment. Don’t get upset, ignore, or metaphorically cover your ears when God tells you something you may not want to hear. Listen and then ask Him to forgive you when you have gone wrong. He is then ready to help you along the way.
God, thank You for loving me enough to point out the ways in which I may have lost my way or need more direction. Thank You for never giving up on me.
“Perhaps the house of Judah will listen to all the disaster I intend to bring on them, and turn back, each person from his evil way; then I will forgive their wickedness and sin.” Jeremiah 36:3