Randy May Family in Hillsboro Oregon

October 24, 2016

How to Live a Happy and Successful Life

Filed under: Bible Study — rmay4 @ 4:29 pm
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As I read this, it occurs to me that it contains most of the lessons ever needed to live a happy and successful life by watching and examining the process of a group of people make a researching and making a descision that will ultimately grant them success or destruction. I find myself in this narrative in both positive and negative ways. What do you see?  The undelined texts are for emphasis. The bold text are my comments and observations.
Jeremiah 42:5 – 43:3
1 Then all the military leaders, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet. They said, “Please pray to the Lord your God for us. As you can see, we are only a tiny remnant compared to what we were before. 3 Pray that the Lord your God will show us what to do and where to go.”

4 “All right,” Jeremiah replied. “I will pray to the Lord your God, as you have asked, and I will tell you everything he says. I will hide nothing from you.”
5 Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord your God be a faithful witness against us if we refuse to obey whatever he tells us to do! 6 Whether we like it or not, we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us.”
 
It is amazing to me that we can not enjoy obeying God. I there was a point that even Christ came to this point at bit right before the cross. We all reach this crisis at times I guess not to compare my crisis to Christ’s but the principle.  
7 Ten days later the Lord gave his reply to Jeremiah.
Even Jeremiah had to wait 10 days for an answer.  I do not understand this type of delay. This is a note to me.  I often look for and make a decision in minutes or hours. Like the Israel in the wilderness,  if God does not move,  stay put. This is another principle for life but tough in my right now life and world. Help me Lord. 
8 So he called for Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders, and for all the people, from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, “You sent me to the Lord, the God of Israel, with your request, and this is his reply: 10 ‘Stay here in this land. If you do, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you. For I am sorry about all the punishment I have had to bring upon you. 11 Do not fear the king of Babylon anymore,’ says the Lord. ‘For I am with you and will save you and rescue you from his power.
 
God  is always trying to get us not to fear. Fear is at the base of so much sin.  First there is the sin of not trusting.  Fear makes it hard to listen and wait patiently for the Lord and to trust him.  This will lead us to justify and make an immediate decision which will lead us further into sin and farther from God’s calling and blessing for my life. 
 
The New Testimate tells that love cast out fear. So if love is the solution for fear, then lack of love is a cause if not the cause of fear. Look at 2 Cor 13 for a definition of love. It is not selfish for one thing which why I believe God commands us to love him and love others. This love is the solution for our fear and all that comes with it.
 
God wanted them to stay and depend on him. They wanted to rely on themselves and something they can see and is right now comfort and relief.  Good wanted them to stay and trust him and become something great. Fear will cause them to sin and not allow the blessing of God in their lives.
 
12 I will be merciful to you by making him kind, so he will let you stay here in your land.’
It is easy to see how God can effect us who look to him but we often doubt he can effect the hearts and minds of people who do not seek him. God can control the heart and mind of anyone he wants. He allows me to choose and self determine but that is his grace and love. He can dominate and control and will on my behalf if I allow his plan and blessing in my life.
13 “But if you refuse to obey the Lord your God, and if you say, ‘We will not stay here; 14 instead, we will go to Egypt where we will be free from war, the call to arms, and hunger,’ 15 then hear the Lord’s message to the remnant of Judah. This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘If you are determined to go to Egypt and live there, 16 the very war and famine you fear will catch up to you, and you will die there.
Ironically, we are usually correct in our fear. The thing that we fear and do not trust God for is aound the corner. Does this mean if we did not fear it, it might not be there?
17 That is the fate awaiting every one of you who insists on going to live in Egypt. Yes, you will die from war, famine, and disease. None of you will escape the disaster I will bring upon you there.’
18 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Just as my anger and fury have been poured out on the people of Jerusalem, so they will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. You will be an object of damnation, horror, cursing, and mockery. And you will never see your homeland again.’

19 “Listen, you remnant of Judah. The Lord has told you: ‘Do not go to Egypt!’ Don’t forget this warning I have given you today. 20 For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the Lord your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the Lord our God says, and we will do it!’ 21 And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the Lord your God any better now than you have in the past. 22 So you can be sure that you will die from war, famine, and disease in Egypt, where you insist on going.”
Jeremiah Taken to Egypt

43 When Jeremiah had finished giving this message from the Lord their God to all the people, 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other proud men said to Jeremiah, “You lie! The Lord our God hasn’t forbidden us to go to Egypt! 3 Baruch son of Neriah has convinced you to say this, because he wants us to stay here and be killed by the Babylonians or be carried off into exile.”
 
Be very careful to not rationalize away God’s word.  They did not say “we will not obey God” that would be obvious. They re-defined, re-interpreted, justify and explain away.  This was the serpent in the garden.  We lie to ourselves so we can belive what we want.  This maybe our greatest danger because once we convince ourselves of this alternative truth, we actually do not believe we are doing wrong and we can make God’s word say anything we want it to. Justification and denial, the same two weapons against truth that allow an alcoholic to continue and blame others and feel they are ok. In so many other ways I have used these tools to re-interpret what God says or wants in and for my life. Scripture tells us that only God knows our hearts and they are deep dark waters that even we do not know. God shine your light in my heart to remove that which offends you.
 

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

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