Open Your Bible
2 Kings 24:1-20, 2 Kings 25:1-30, Joshua 5:10-12, John 2:19-22
At the breakfast table this morning, I overheard a four-year-old eagerly explaining the key to getting what he wants: “I just ask, and ask, and ask, and ask until Mama says yes.” Okay, it was my four-year-old. And I usually do give in to him after he has asked seven times. Tired isn’t even the word for how this makes me feel. His simple solution to getting what he wants is actually a really terrible solution. What I want to teach my kids is this: ask, learn, and then obey. Let’s just say that his commitment to setting up his own standard of what is right and wrong is why he still has to take a nap every day.
We ask God questions all the time. And if we don’t like the answer we get, we ask, and ask, and ask, and ask again. But here’s the thing: God doesn’t get squishy and worn out and depressed about life situations—He is unchanging. So the hilariously pushy methods that sometimes work on parents (and teachers and bosses) don’t change eternal truth. We can’t insist on getting our own way with Him. In a culture that is driven by individualistic self interest, we are lured to believe the opposite—that we can choose what is right.
But the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). And even though God loved Judah, He sent them into exile and allowed Jerusalem to be destroyed (2 Kings 25:21). These same events are recorded in the book of Jeremiah. As one of the Lord’s prophets, Jeremiah warned Jehoiakim, who warned Jehoiachin, who warned Zedekiah—and he witnessed the judgment God brought against each of these kings. But folly came after folly, and they didn’t listen.
“You have seen all the disaster I brought against Jerusalem…
because of the evil they committed to anger me…
So I sent you all my servants the prophets time and time again, saying,
‘Don’t commit this detestable action that I hate.’
But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their evil” (Jeremiah 44:2–5).
Like children, we want our own way and don’t want to listen. But we are called to heed God’s ways and His words. Don’t accept a sham when the truth is available to you. We don’t have to pretend to be Christians; we are His children. Jerusalem was on the road to destruction because they refused to listen to the Lord and instead substituted their own truth for the truth of God’s Word.
But we must be of good hope, because God does generously give us His answers and teach us about His ways and His character through Scripture. Listen today and pay attention. Why push your own truth forward when eternal truth is available to you? Write His words on the tablet of your heart and when you are in need—or busy or scared or overwhelmed or somehow “squishy” and not at your best—they will stay with you (Deuteronomy 11:18).