‘’Unless the Word of God is obeyed and worked out practically in our lives, God can’t bless us as He desires to do.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ‘The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT)’,P.1220.
I believe in the power of prayer. If you have been reading these notes for a time you will know this to be the case. But there can come a time when God will no longer listen to a person’s prayer (11b). There may even come a moment when God tells you to stop praying for someone (14; see 7:16; 1 John 5:16). We cannot continue in persistent, wilful rebellion against God and expect Him to hear our prayers. We cannot plot our own course, fight against His Lordship, and assume that He will always and inevitably answer us. The people of Judah and Jerusalem had reached a point of no return. They knew what God’s Word clearly said. They had been reminded of it. They were repeatedly warned about the consequences of continuing on their course away from God. Now was the time for the bill to come in. The people had ‘conspired’ with one another to rebel against God (9). (We can encourage each other in bad as well as good.) God saw a storm of judgment coming, in which the wind would break the branches and the lightning set the tree on fire (16, 17).
Furthermore, these people trusted in their religion and religious practices. They sought to shelter behind them. But God’s Word smashed right through their vulnerable defences:
‘’Do you think making promises and devising pious programmes will save you from doom? Do you think you can get out of this by becoming more religious?’’ The Message
‘’A people’s lives are only as good as their worship. Worship defines life. If worship is corrupt, life will be corrupt.’ Eugene Peterson.
‘’The people knew that the curses and judgments were written into the covenant, but they thought God wouldn’t send judgment on His own chosen people. Wasn’t God’s temple in Jerusalem? Wasn’t the ark of the covenant there? And didn’t the priests have the law? Would God allow these sacred things to be destroyed? But God always keeps His promises, whether to bless or to chasten, and the greater the privileges we have from Him, the greater the responsibility we have to Him.’’ Warren W. Wiersbe: ’The Wiersbe Bible Commentary (OT)’, p.1221.
Trust in religion and religious observances will not save anyone. Our trust must be in Christ alone.
‘’On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.’’