Tuesday, August 30, 2011
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done…” (Jeremiah 44:16,17 KJV).
Israel’s women are “burning incense unto other gods” while their husbands say nothing (verse 15). Shame! So, in Jeremiah chapter 44, the word of the LORD comes to the prophet. God instructs Jeremiah to command Israel to quit worshipping those pagan gods because worse judgment will come (verses 3-5, 11-14). We read the Jews’ response to Jeremiah in today’s Scripture: “No thanks, Jeremiah! We will not listen to the LORD. We will do whatever we want!!”
Noah warned of an impending global flood, preaching for all the world’s peoples to come into the ark for salvation. Millions replied, “No thanks, Noah!” Consequently, only Noah and his seven relatives were saved in the ark (2 Peter 2:5).
Early in Christ’s earthly ministry, many of Israel’s religious leaders refused John the Baptist’s water baptism, a Jew’s only means of salvation from the wrath to come (Luke 7:29,30). “No thanks, John!” And with that, they allowed Herod to behead John.
When God the Son Jesus Christ came, many Jews said, “No thanks, Jesus!” Ultimately, they demanded Rome crucify Him (John 19:15).
As the prophet Stephen witnessed to Israel just a year after Calvary, Israel was still “stiffnecked” (stubborn) and “uncircumcised in heart and ears” (wicked, lost) (Acts 7:51). Israel refused to admit that they murdered their Messiah Jesus. “No thanks, Stephen!” And with that, they stoned Stephen.
God’s messengers have always been ignored, hated, and ridiculed, so we should expect nothing less when we share the message of God’s grace to us in Christ. When confronted with the world’s snide remarks, we Christians reply: “We will not hearken unto thee!” We ignore their silly comments and continue preaching, rejoicing that we can endure the rejection just like the saints of old did.