Life Choices are before us today whether we live or die Jeremiah 21:8 “And to this people you shall say: ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. (Je 21:8).
Judah was faced with life choices as we are today. Here in our text King Zedekiah had sent Pashur a corrupt and evil priest who had beaten Jeremiah and through him into the stocks for prophesying the truth. He was so evil Jeremiah said that the Lord no longer call him Pashhur but Terror on every side. Passhur was so evil he caused Jeremiah to want to give up prophesying. It was in Chapter 20 that Jeremiah complained to the that he was deceived. His preaching had become humiliating! He was beaten for speaking the Lord’s word. Its in chapter 20 that Jeremiah was ready to put down his work,hang up his robe and fine himself a place of retreat! Preaching was not working. He felt like it was all in vain.
He realized tho through all the pain and disappointment he could not stop preaching! He said, If I say, “I will not mention him,
or speak any more in his name,”
there is in my heart as it were a burning fire
shut up in my bones! (Je 20:9). He went from pity to praise! He regrouped, refocused and was recharged! He was reequipped, renewed, and repurposed! O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous,
who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause. (Je 20:12).
So Jeremiah says to Pashhur in all the Kings hope that the Lord will fight for Judah has now fell on deaths ear! Yes the Lord had been faithful in the pass. Yes they have seen the Lord relent from their destruction in the pass but this time The Lord had it in for them. There was no hope because The Lord will be fighting against JUDAH. The weapons would be useless. I realize this when the Lord fights against there is no winning! Yes if God be for you he is more than the whole world against you! There a flip side to that. There is no hope when God is working against you. You remember what Gamaliel said in Acts 5:39 but if it is of God, ye will not be able to overthrow them;
This why we have to stay on the side of the Lord!
The Lord had become angry with Judah. He had determined give King Zedekiah over to King Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon. Zedekiah should have been happy because the Lord was really sparing his life. He did not allow him to die by the sword. Even in our wickedness the Lord will keep us.
He would have to witness The great city of Jerusalem falling and the people of Jerusalem taken into captivity! Those that remain in Jerusalem will die by the pestilence, sword, and famine!
This word pestilence is disease and sickness. Those who remain would die of all manner of disease or by violence or starvation. All three of these conditional deaths is not pleasing.
SO the word of the Lord stands before us today. DO you wan to live? For Jeremiah said Thus said the Lord, Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death. (Je 21:8).
Choose Life or Death
Nebuchadnezzer id attacking the City and there is no help from the Lord. Jeremiah said choose whether you want to live or die. This comes down to submitting to the will of God or not. Submitting to God might not always feel comfortable but its always right. We may be require to do what we don’t want to do . We often choose the path of what we feel comfortable with. I can assure you that I would love to gather everyone back to church but is that God’s will. God is saying will you trust me to do what is right or do what is comfortable. What is comfortable could bring death.
Our challenge is to choose life over death. Not only physical life but everlasting life. When we make the choice to follow Jesus we make the choice to choose life. Life and life more abundantly! Jesus is the giver and sustainer of life!
Choose Justice over Evil
12 O house of David! Thus says the LORD: “ ‘Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of your evil deeds.’ ” (Je 21:12).
Execute Judgement That’s JUSTICE. If we are going to be his people then we must do justice. How does justice look. Delivering those who are being oppressed. We should never go down the lane of being an oppressor. We should never be about self gain at the sacrifice of others. We should see compassion and exercise righteousness. Its our responsibility. Jeremiah 34 explains This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD after King Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people in Jerusalem to proclaim freedom: 9 Everyone must free their Hebrew slaves, male and female, so that no one should hold another Judahite in servitude.d 10 All the princes and the people who entered this covenant agreed to set free their slaves, their male and female servants, so that they should no longer be in servitude. But even though they agreed and freed them, 11 afterward they took back their male and female servants whom they had set free and again forced them into servitude.
They went back on their word. The Lord
......17 Therefore, thus says the LORD: You for your part did not obey me by proclaiming freedom for your families and neighbors. So I now proclaim freedom for you—oracle of the LORD—for the sword, starvation, and disease. I will make you an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.
Choose Righteousness not self reliance
look at verse 13
Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, O rock of the plain, declares the LORD; you who say, ‘Who shall come down against us, or who shall enter our habitations?’ (Je 21:13).
Yes Righteousness and Justice goes together. (Je 22:3-6)
3 Thus says the LORD: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, then there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation. (Je 22:3–6).
We have to be careful not to look at pretentious fortresses as our protection. Many times we trust in our own abilities more than we trust in the Lord. The Bible is clear Lean not to your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge HIM and he shall direct your paths! This is the biggest mistake we can make. Self reliance. I don’t if you agree with me but I can testify IF IT HAD NOT BEEN FOR THE LORD WHO WAS ON MY SIDE WHERE WOULD I BE!
Yes life choices have consequences. For the word says the Lord will punish us according to the fruit of our deeds. We must choose righteousness if we want live. Behold before us today is the path of life and path of death.
The road to this destruction is wide but the road to life is narrow!