Jeremiah 42-43, Stop Making Promises To God
1. God Wants To Do You Good Before You Promise Anything (42:7-17)
2. You Deceive Yourself With Promises To God (v18-22)
3. You Are Too Proud To Keep Your Promises To God (v43:1-7)
Jeremiah 42-43, Stop Making Promises To God
Jeremiah 42-43, Stop Making Promises To God
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As we look at Jeremiah Chapter 42 this evening, I've titled the Message Stop Making promises to God.
Stop making promises to God, and I want to encourage you to consider that.
Obviously you'll hear that a little bit here and there throughout the service and study this evening, but but we need to wrestle with and evaluate this idea of making promises.
Is to God, and now promises are not necessarily sinful, they're not necessarily wrong or bad, and there can be good things that God does through promises.
Obviously we grasp, hold of and love his promises to us, but there's an issue when it comes to our side.
Of things and the promises that we make, and and we really need to think twice before we make a promise.
And making a promise to God is a serious thing.
And so generally speaking, not as a mandate, a law, every time, it must be wrong, but generally speaking.
I would say, looking at the example of the the children of Judah here, that we should stop making promises to God.
Now some context of what's been happening up to this point here in Chapter 42, I think is in order, because up through this point in Jeremiah, as we've been reading through, we've been seeing.
Via ministering to the City of Jerusalem, the people of Judah, and warning them of the judgment that would come when Babylon would conquer them.
And so Jeremiah ministered during this time in the nation of Judah, where Israel had been taken captive by Assyria a couple 100 years earlier, it was only the nation of Judah left.
It had been reduced down to a couple cities.
By the early time of Jeremiah Ministry and by the end of Jeremiah Ministry had been reduced down to one city, Jerusalem, which has now been conquered.
Jeremiah Chapter 39 records for us the fall of Jerusalem. This is for the third time, the final time that Babylon led by King Nebuchadnezzar.
Conquers Jerusalem this time, he says.
I've had enough.
I've beaten this city three times.
They will not submit.
So he tears down the walls, disassembles the temple.
He leaves the whole city of Jerusalem just as rubble.
And the inhabitants are taken away captive, except for a small select few who are the poor who had no territory, no land, and the king of Babylon allowed them to stay in the land under the leadership of a man named Gedaliah.
And that's recorded for us in Jeremiah Chapter 40, Jeremiah.
Becomes the governor and is now the really Regent for the King of Babylon and saying, OK, I'm one of you, I'm the one of the brethren, but let's submit to Babylon and do what they require of us, and we get to enjoy the land that God has promised to us. But then in Jeremiah chapter 41.
Gedaliah is assassinated, probably because he was in compliance to Babylon and in a, you know, encouraging the people to be submitted to Babylon.
And so Ishmael comes on the scene and he says you're dead.
Get Elia, and he takes him out after seven months.
Of being the governor of the land seven months after Jerusalem has been conquered.
Now, once again, the political situation in Judah is in an uproar.
And now the.
Rest of the people are really fearful. I mean, King Nebuchadnezzar's come down here beating the city three times.
He set someone in charge to be the governor, and now that governor has been assassinated, what is he going to do now?
And their thought is, of course he's going to come down here and he's going to just wipe everybody out.
He's going to be furious.
There's no patience any longer and so we are in big trouble because he gave us that last little bit of mercy and we blew it on that as well, and our leader has been assassinated.
And so the people decide at the end of Chapter 41, it's not safe here. Nebuchadnezzar is going to come back and he's going to be enraged, and we're all doomed.
And so at the end of verse of chapter 41, verse 17, it says they departed and dwelt in the habitation of Chhim ham, which is near Bethlehem, as they went on their way.
To Egypt because of the Chaldeans, for they were afraid of them because Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, had murdered Gedaliah, the son of a high Kim, whom the king of Babylon had made governor in the land.
And so as we enter into Chapter 42, this is the context they are on their way. It says in verse 17 of chapter 41.
They went on their way to Egypt.
They've already packed up their things.
They said it's too dangerous here.
We need to get to Egypt as soon as possible and there we will be safe.
But then in Chapter 42, something crosses their mind. We don't know exactly what prompts it, but they realize, you know, we can't just rush down to Egypt.
Rip we need to find out what God wants in this situation.
Let's ask the Lord.
Jeremiah is still there in the land.
He was left.
There by King Nebuchadnezzar.
And so they reach out to Jeremiah.
Let's pause a moment, inquire of the Lord.
And Jeremiah agrees and they say, OK, great.
And along with this inquiry that they give through Jeremiah, they give this solemn promise to obey.
Check out verse five and six. Here again in Chapter 42 it says so they.
Said to Jeremiah.
Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the Lord your God sends us by you.
Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the Lord our God, to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the Lord our God.
Here is they are sending Jeremiah before he goes to seek the Lord, and hear from the Lord before he, you know, goes to find out what God wants for them.
They they tack on this extra promise, they've already made the request and he's agreed to go and they say, OK, great, and now we call.
Heaven and earth.
Let the Lord be a true and faithful witness between us.
They they make this solemn oath.
They're making this a matter of some formality.
The Lord will be a witness to this testimony we're about to give.
We are going to do everything whether.
It comes back and it's not really what we want, if it's displeasing or if it's pleasing.
But the Lord be a faithful and true witness between us if.
We do not do.
According to everything that God says.
Verse five and six are a really good sounding.
My question for us to consider is do.
You believe them?
Do you believe them?
They make it a serious and extra, you know, solemn issue, calling the Lord as a witness, making it a promise and saying like this is like we're we're going into the courtroom.
I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
I will obey everything that God says.
Do we believe?
That they will do this.
There's some interesting things to consider about promises and oaths and vows.
Suppose that the author of Hebrews works through in Hebrews chapter 6.
And I can't get into all of the details there, but you can check it out.
If you want to.
Here's a couple snippets in Hebrews.
Chapter 6 verse 16.
The author of Hebrews.
Points out that men swear by something greater.
The given oath for confirmation is for them in end of all dispute.
And so he goes on to say God determined his show more abundantly.
The errors have promised the immutability of his council, confirmed it by an oath that there's two immutable things.
It's impossible for God to lie, and he is unchanging, so his promises are true and guaranteed.
And so, again, promises themselves are not necessarily.
A problem in every case.
But what's interesting to note is the author of Hebrews here points out why Humanity takes oaths.
To end disputes, it's a confirmation we swear by something greater.
We make a solemn promise to try to put an end to the matter.
And so it's no problem when God promises, because his promises are guaranteed and he knows he will be able to keep them and he knows that he will fulfill them when we promise.
It's a bit of a different story and and the real issue here is, as you think about promises, the need to make a promise.
Making a promise is a way to add credibility or weight to our word.
Did you really go there when you said you did?
Oh yes, I promise it's a way to add some extra weight to say yes.
I I really did that.
What it what I'm telling you right now really is true.
I promise to Jesus.
Or I swear or, you know, there's this opportunity.
For us to try to add extra weight.
To the thing that we are saying.
And the author of Hebrews here is highlighting that in reference to God as a positive, like he's confirming and making it absolutely for sure.
For sure, for sure, for sure.
But the problem for us is that we don't have the same track record as the Lord.
It's not for sure, for sure, for sure.
When we make a promise and very often the actual need for us, the when we feel that need to make a promise, very often it indicates already that there is a problem.
Before you even make the promise, just the need to make a promise indicates that there may be a serious issue already in place.
When you or I have the desire to make a promise and specifically looking at in relationship to God.
When we have this desire to make a promise to God.
We can perhaps look at that very favorably, but, but we also need to understand it also could indicate that there is a little bit of a problem and an issue in our hearts.
Jesus also talks about promises in Matthew Chapter 5, and again I won't get into all the details but one snippet here from Matthew, Chapter 5, verse 37.
Jesus says let your yes be yes and your no no for whatever is more than these is from.
The Evil 1.
Let your yes be yes.
Now Jesus was addressing the issue of making promises and not keeping them.
That was common for them.
And they would have all of these loopholes in the way that they would promise and and those kinds of things, the oaths that they would take.
Jesus is saying that's not a good practice.
Don't let your life be categorized or known for.
Yes, you know whenever you hear something from.
Rick, you know you always want to make sure you get the right details and the promise that he's making.
Otherwise you can't trust a word that guy says.
No, your character, your reputation should be that your yes is yes and your no is no.
That should be the way that we conduct ourselves, and especially so when it comes to our relationship with God.
And we need to be careful, because there is from the.
Desires, temptations and ideas that do not help us, that sound good but do not help us in our relationship to God.
And so, again, stop making promises.
To God. Why? Well, three reasons. Three points that we will walk through as we consider this passage here in Chapter 42 and 43 of Jeremiah. Here's reason number one. God wants to do you good before you promise anything.
You don't really need to promise.
You don't like get something more if you promise to God.
You don't gain extra favor if you make a promise to God.
Check out verse 10 here in chapter 42. Here's God's response to the people and just summed up in one verse here.
If you will still remain in this land.
Then I will build you and not pull you down.
I will plan to you and not pluck you up.
For I relent concerning the disaster.
That I have brought upon you.
When Jeremiah hears from the Lord, he brings back this word and God's word is.
Don't run to Egypt.
Stay here in the land and listen, guys, I want to build you.
I'm not going to pull you down anymore.
I'm changing course in my the way that I've been relating to the nation of Judah.
I'm changing course now.
The time of judgment has been completed for the region, for this land, and so I relent concerning the disaster, and if you will stay here, I will build you up.
I will bless you.
I will plant you.
I'll do a good work in your midst.
Now God didn't tell this to them because they promised.
He's saying if you stay here.
This is what?
I want to.
Do for you.
He already had this in his heart for the people of Judah.
This was already what God intended and what God desired for them, and and making this promise didn't get this word from the Lord.
And it was just, they inquired of the Lord, finally.
And so now they get to hear what the Lord is saying.
But this was already in his.
And this is important to understand that we don't have to wheel and deal and negotiate.
With God in a lot of ways, because God already wants more good for us than we even know is possible to ask for.
And so you can think about it this way.
God wants good in your life more than you do.
And he knows what is best.
He knows what is good for you better than you do.
He wants it more than you do.
So you don't have to negotiate and wheel and deal and try to, you know, trick God into or get God to finally cave in and give you the good that you know you want to experience in your life.
He wants to do you good before you promise anything.
One thing that is consistent throughout the scriptures.
God is never commanding us to make a promise as a, you know, blanket.
Every person you know needs to make this vow.
He he doesn't require those kinds of valves, but he does say if you do make a vow.
Then you need to keep it, and I'm holding you accountable to it.
And it will be sinful and an issue of sin if you break that promise, that vow, that covenant that you make with the Lord.
So you don't have to make a promise.
And God already wants to do good for you, so so you don't need to offer a promise as some sort of like, extra wait.
Here's here's extra reason why, God, you should do good in my life.
God would be able to tell you I already want to do good.
It's not because you made some value, made some extra promise that makes me want to do good for you.
Eddie want to do good.
Well, a couple things to note here.
In these verses let's look pick it up.
In verse 7 through 9 it says that it happened after 10 days that the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah.
Then he called Johanan the son of Korea, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least, even to the greatest, and said to them, thus, says the Lord, the God of Israel.
To whom you sent me to present your petition before him.
Here Jeremiah agrees to inquire of the Lord on their behalf.
And it's interesting to note and.
Are just a couple.
Side notes that it takes 10 days.
For the word.
Of the Lord to come to Jeremiah.
And so a little exhortation for us to make sure that we give God time to speak to us.
At this time, Jeremiah has been ministering as a prophet for 30 or 40 years.
He should be, you know, well experienced and he should maybe need as much as 10 minutes, right?
In this case it was ten days before the Lord answer.
OK, well that's the formula then, right?
We just gotta wait for 10 days and then got all these answers after 10 days.
Well, no, that's not the case.
Either Jeremiah would have kept waiting if it was longer than 10 days, or he would have come back sooner if it was shorter than.
10 days the point is.
Whatever time God wanted to allow, he had that time for his own purposes and reasons.
God does not always respond instantly. We love those times and occasions, and we love that account of Abraham servants like while he's still praying, Genesis 2415 says. Before he finished his prayer, there was Rebecca.
With the picture on her shoulder, it's like, yes.
Lord answered all.
Of my prayer requests that way. But sometimes the Lord waits 10 days or 100 days or 10 years, and that's OK.
You've got time.
To speak another side note I think it is worth considering is that Jeremiah did not give him give them his own opinion.
He didn't say.
OK guys, here's here's what I think you should do in regards to this.
Trip to Egypt.
And you know, I'll pray, I'll seek the Lord too.
But in the meantime, here ponder on my words and what I think about the situation.
Right like that.
That was not what he did.
He waited upon the Lord and then called them, summoned them to speak only.
When the Lord had spoken to him.
And so the message is stay here.
If you stay here, I'll bless you.
I'll plant you all work in your life.
But he also gives a warning jumping to verse 11.
Do not be afraid of the King of Babylon, of whom you are afraid.
Do not be afraid of him, says the Lord.
For I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hand, and I will show you mercy that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.
God here is letting the people know I know it's in your heart.
I know you are afraid.
I know you're terrified at the King of Babylon.
I know you're really freaked out in this situation, but but I'm telling you, I'm with.
To save you, to deliver you, I'm going to show you mercy.
Now, the fact that God would give these people the time of day and answer them at all should be quite astounding for us.
Because throughout Jeremiah's ministry for the past 30 or 40 years, he's been prophesying and they've been ignoring, they've been rebelling, they've been persecuting him. They they have been resisting the word of God their whole life.
Up to this point, as a nation, they've been resisting the word of God for hundreds of years.
And yet here they inquire of the Lord and God response.
He has a message for them, an option and an opportunity for mercy and opportunity for God, salvation and deliverance and work in their lives, and planting and building that God wants to do more good than we could ever imagine that they would deserve.
He wants to do good in their life.
He wants to show them mercy.
He wants to build them and planting them.
They didn't have to negotiate or.
Add a vowel on top of it.
But now things are going to get a little bit more serious because God's also going to warn them about.
Not keeping their vow.
And not doing what God instructs here, verse 13.
But if you say we will not dwell in this land, disobeying the voice of the Lord your God, saying, no, but we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread.
We will dwell.
Then here now the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah.
Says the Lord of hosts.
The God of Israel, if you holy set your faces to enter Egypt and go to dwell there, then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt.
The famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt, and there you shall die.
So shall it be with all the men who set their faces, to go to Egypt, to dwell there.
They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, and none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them, as God often does.
He presents two options before the people.
If you stay here.
I'm going to show you mercy.
You're going to be planted, you're going to be built, you're going to be protected.
Going to be blessed, but if you go to Egypt.
God says everything that you are running from the the fears that you have the sword, the famine, all of the dangers that you are worried about.
If you disobey me and run to Egypt, you're going to find those dangers there in Egypt, and you're going to die there.
You might have it in your mind.
You're just going to, you know, go there for a couple months or a year and then come back when kind of things cool off.
And Nebuchadnezzar is not angry, right?
Like that's what's in your mind perhaps, but you know you're going to die there, you're going to go, you're going to die there.
You're going to experience everything that you're running from when you run away.
From the Lord.
And notice God.
Calls to attention where their minds are at and there's a there's a fantasy in their mind.
And verse 4.
No, but we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall.
See? No war.
What's the basis for this idea that they will see no war in Egypt?
They have no basis for it.
Nebuchadnezzar is still on the throne and Babylon is still the world power, and Egypt still resists the world power at the time.
It resists Babylon at the time.
There's no good reason for them to think that they will see no war except for they just want it to be true so bad.
There's this fantasy.
That they've created.
We're not going to hear the sound of the trumpet.
They've just spent a couple of years trapped in the city of Jerusalem with the Babylonian army camped around them.
Every day the Babylonian army would blow their trumpets to signal the troops, and they're moving around and and so every day they're awakened to this reality.
We are held captive in our own city by the City of Babylon.
Let's go to Egypt.
We won't hear that trumpet there.
We're going to be free.
And we can wake up when we want to, we can do what we want to.
We don't have to worry about any threats and check it out.
We're not going to be hungry for bread if we go to Egypt.
All Egypt is going to be so glorious.
There's there's going to be just so much food.
We're never going to be hungry again and we're going to be able to dwell there.
And they had this fantasy.
Built up in their head and listen, we can do this very thing.
This is we more common than we would like to think.
That we have in our mind, and this is how sin always appeals to us, that that there is this fantasy that is held out in.
Front of us.
And if I do this, if I go this way, if I engage in that, oh, it's just going to be, this is going to be finally peaceful and and no more worries and no more rest if I, you know just can go this way or make that deal or get that job or you know end that relationship.
Or whatever we might be thinking and.
We have this fantasy.
But listen, we need to remember, whatever fantasy that we could dream up, it's never going to be as good as what God already wants to do in our lives.
Our fantasies will never rise to be as good as what God already wants to do.
He's planning to do exceedingly abundantly, above all that we could ask or think.
And so our imaginations and our fantasies.
About sin, about choices, about things that we pursue and and courses that we go on.
They will never even come close to the amount of good that God wants to do for us already.
And we don't attain that goodbye chasing a fantasy we don't attain that good.
By making promises to God and get trying to negotiate for him to give us our fantasy, we we attain that good.
By submitting to God.
By hearing what he has to say and being obedient to him.
And we can trust.
We may not see the good immediately, but it's there, laid before us, God says.
Here's your option, here's my instruction.
And as God always does, he says, choose life.
When the children of Israel were at Mount Sinai.
The Lord brought forth the instruction of the Commandments and the Levitical law in Deuteronomy chapter 30.
God says I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing.
Therefore choose life that both you and your descendants may live.
Choose life that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey his voice, that you may cling to him.
For he is your life, the length of your days.
You may dwell in the land with which.
The Lord swore to your father is to give the Abraham Isaac Jacob to give them, he said.
Look, there's all this good that I have in store for you, all of these promises to fulfill.
And so I'm laying before you two choices.
Choose life or choose death.
But God says, here's I want you to know where I stand on this.
I want you to choose.
Life and experience, all the good that I want to do for you.
Listen if God wanted them destroyed.
He could have told them to go to Egypt and not given them the option to stay right.
If God wanted to bring destruction to them, he could have misled them.
Or, of course, he could have just snapped his fingers and then they were all destroyed also.
God doesn't want them to suffer more needlessly.
He doesn't want them to.
Be, you know, in dire trouble or in more difficulty.
He wants them to experience the good that he has in store for them.
God wants to do good.
Before you make any promises or try to hash out any deals or work out any negotiations.
God wants to do good for you already.
The way to receive it.
Is to hear from him.
And to respond to what he says.
Consistently throughout the Scriptures, the Lord says.
When you make a.
I expect you to keep it.
And so if we make a promise unto God, then God says I'm holding you accountable to that.
That will be a factor in the scales as your decisions and your actions are weighed.
I don't require you to make a promise, but if you make a promise then I require.
You to keep it.
God doesn't need a promise from you to do you good.
He already wants to do that.
You don't have to like trick him or persuade him or add X bunch of extra week and and give him like all kinds of deals like he got.
If you give me this and here's what I promise I'm going to do this and this and this and this and these other seven things for you.
And boy, God, you're going to be so happy you got such a good deal, you know, giving me my fantasy.
And you get all of me and everything that I'm telling you I'm gonna do.
Like, no, it doesn't work that way.
There's another problem with promises as we keep going on, another reason why not to make those promises to God verses 18 through 22. Here's point #2.
You deceive yourself with promises to God, one of the issues with making promises.
Not what it does to God.
Swayed or moods one way or another by our promises, but the issue is what those promises do in our own hearts and in our own minds.
Let's read verses 18 through 22. It says for thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel.
As my anger and my fury have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so will my fury be poured out on you when you enter Egypt, and you shall be an oath and astonishment, a curse and or approach, and you shall see this place.
The Lord has said concerning you, oh, remnant of Judah, do not go to Egypt.
Knows certainly that I have, that I have admonished you this day, for you were hypocrites in your hearts.
When you sent me to the Lord your God.
Saying pray for.
Us to the Lord your God, and according.
To all that the.
Lord your God says so.
Declare to us and we will do it.
And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the Lord your God, or anything which he has sent you by me.
Now, therefore, know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the police, where you desire to go to dwell.
The people of Judah at this time are convinced Egypt is their salvation.
It is the land of blessing for them, the land flowing with milk and honey.
Egypt is where they need to be.
They've already begun the journey there, right? We saw that at the end of Chapter 41. They're already moving that way.
And then, almost like an afterthought, Oh yeah, we need to find out if the Lord is cool with this.
Jeremiah tell us what the Lord says, and we promise whatever God says, whether it's displeasing or pleasing.
Now, Jeremiah, we really want it to be pleasing and what we really want is to go to Egypt.
Be really good for you if you.
Told us that the fund.
Is saying to go to Egypt.
Right. Like that's kind.
Of what they're hoping takes place here.
We really want to go to Egypt.
We really think this is the solution, man.
This is going to really make it stick for us and it's really going to, you know, make things last now and we're going to really do good in Egypt.
The prophet Jeremiah.
Tells the people that they were hypocrites.
In their hearts.
There were hypocrites in their hearts.
There's hypocrisy going on, but the question that this causes me to ask as I look at this and consider this, is did they know that they were hypocrites?
Hear a variety of teachers walk through this passage and hear a variety of responses.
Many people look at this and they decide, OK, these guys.
They didn't actually want to hear from the Lord, but they wanted to pretend to.
They had already made-up their decision, they'd already made-up their mind to go to Egypt, and they just wanted God to give confirmation.
And there's there's some application for us to wrestle with on that in that oftentimes when we ask for prayer requests, when we're seeking the Lord on something, we have in our mind an idea of what we want, and we're really hoping that God will confirm that thing, that.
We want and, so that is something that we can relate to and something that is definitely a possibility.
In this situation here in verse 20, they had already made-up their minds.
But wanted God to give confirmation.
There's another way to look at this, though, and I would suggest there's probably a variety of things happening, that there's different people involved. There's a group of people involved, right? And some people had already made-up their minds.
And some people.
Weren't quite sure what they thought yet.
Weren't quite sure. And perhaps?
Considered themselves to be quite objective in the whole situation.
Well, I know what I want and what would be pleasing.
But if the Lord told me to do something different, and it was displeasing to me well, I would do it.
But there are those who would.
In their hearts.
Meaning that their heart is masked from themselves and.
That is the heart right earlier in Jeremiah.
It's deceitful and desperately wicked.
That they could feel very sincere.
No, I really want to know.
And if the Lord tells me to do something that I mean I I I don't really want to do it, but but I'll do it if the Lord tells me to do it.
I promise I'll do it if the Lord tells me to do it.
And and this is the issue here again, that promise is the way to add credibility to our word.
I call the true and faithful witness the Lord.
I will do what he tells me.
And that promise?
Is often deceptive.
To our own hearts.
And we're fully convinced that we're sincere, fully convinced that we mean it and that we will do it.
It's very similar to kind of has some parallels to wraps around some concepts that that go along with legalism.
The apostle Paul in dealing with Legalism in Colossians, Chapter 2.
Says these things have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence.
Of the flesh.
They're in battling the flash, the the people.
We're thinking, man, if I could, you know, make this law, if I could make a really serious agreement and deal with myself, I'm not going to engage in that behavior anymore.
And an effort to help me do that, I'm going to not eat this kind of food and restrain from these kinds of pleasures.
You know, I'll really take this seriously and I won't give in to the indulgence of the flesh.
And Paul says that sounds really wise.
It appears really noble.
It looks really great.
But it ends up having no value.
There's no actual power in legalism.
In regards to the indulgence of the flesh.
Legalism is not the solution to our problems, to our deficiencies, to our failures, to our sins.
And in a similar way, promises aren't either.
These are kind of go hand in hand.
Like, well, if I make a promise, make a really serious agreement with myself, I promise and and there's this extra weight.
If I have all this extra weight on it, then.
And for sure, I'll do my 10,000.
Steps every day.
Then, for sure, I'll never drink a soda again.
Then for sure, I'll never step foot in that or look at her that way, or pursuit that thing, or have that kind of conversation and and and promises.
Are, uh, we that we like laws?
Add these things on, they sound like they're going to be good.
Like it's going to.
Seems to make sense this would be really effective.
But we need to learn the lesson.
That it's actually not what it's really effective at doing is deceiving yourself.
Say, Oh no, I've made a serious agreement.
I made a serious promise to God.
I'm not going to.
Disobey him or do that again or walk in that pattern again or go down that pathway.
I'm I'm not going to do that.
Now Jeremiah calls their history into account. He says, look, you, since the day that God has spoken to you by me, verse 21, you haven't done anything that the Lord spoke through me.
But now, because you made a promise, you were thinking we're going to do it this time.
This time is going to be different.
This time is going to be.
This time I promise, you know, the highest promise I can make and and and then add a cherry on top of that, you know, like it's just like, this is the most serious kind of promise I can make, so for sure.
I will keep it, but you cannot force yourself by promise to obey God, to walk with God, to know God, to keep what God has.
Said you can't.
It doesn't work that.
Way all you end up doing, you don't trick God.
God knows your heart.
He knew what they were going to do from the beginning.
That's why he gave them the choices and made them clear.
And this is what you're choosing between, right?
I don't know if Jeremiah was deceived or not.
They could perhaps deceive Jeremiah and convince him we're going to listen this time, we promise.
I'll go seek the Lord for you.
I think that's an interesting thing about Jeremiah, too, after all of the mistreatment that he's had from these people for decades.
He's still willing to say.
I'll seek the Lord for you and come back with what the Lord wants to say.
I I wouldn't really hold it against Jeremiah, he said.
Forget you guys, you seek the Lord on your own.
Had me imprisoned and persecuting me.
Like, where's all those false prophets you were believing and and trusting in over the the things that I brought you?
Why you coming to me now, like?
I wouldn't blame him for that necessarily.
But he's representing the heart of God here.
Was he deceived?
I don't know.
Were they deceived?
By themselves, by their own promises, by.
Their own heart.
Some of them, for sure.
They didn't care what Jeremiah came back with.
They were just going to go.
Some of them were kind of like, yeah, I'm.
Not really sure.
Like I could see both pros and cons of.
Both sides going to.
Egypt or staying here like I want?
To hear what the Lord says.
Some of them.
We're making promises.
I promise we're gonna do it 'cause I really believe in.
I mean, it couldn't be that God wants to stay here.
Like, I just couldn't make sense.
So so I'm gonna make this promise.
Whether it's pleasing or displeasing your word, Lord 'cause, I'm pretty sure you're you're coming back with the the thing I already know is that I already in fact, let me tell you what the best answer is so that you can, you know, not even have to like, look it up in your book.
You can just hear what I'm telling.
You and then.
Come back with the answer.
That is the best answer already 'cause I told you it.
And then I'll promise.
I'll keep it and and and there is this.
Feeling this internal experience that is happening, that is.
To the reality when they say they will obey God even if it's displeasing.
They will not actually do that.
They've just tricked themselves into thinking.
That they will.
Again, in Matthew 537, Jesus says let your yes be yes.
And your no no.
Whatever is more than these is from.
The Evil 1.
Whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Listen that the enemy wants your heart to be deceived, wants you to be blinded.
He wants you to be tricked into thinking I'm going to obey with God, and God is going to give me this fantasy and everything is going.
To be amazing.
Like that's the enemy's ideal, that you would blindly walk in disobedience, all the while convinced that you're in perfect relationship with God and that you are faithful to him and.
Nothing will change that.
Like that's the ideal scenario as far as the enemy is concerned.
That's why we need to be careful with promises.
It's not just an issue of, you know, your reputation.
Although that's an issue, and that's an important thing to God, it's also an issue.
Of your own heart.
When you are making promises to God.
You can be deceiving yourself.
And setting yourself up for greater failure and greater judgment.
God is not asking you.
To make those promises unless he is.
And there's always that caveat, right?
Like the Lord can put something upon your heart and call you to make a vow and to keep it.
The Lord can do that for sure, but but if you're convinced that the source is the Lord, well then, great, no problem.
The Lords put that on your heart.
The Lords directed you in that.
And so you get married and you make a vow because the Lord did that right. But but you get married and make a vow, and the Lord's not in it. But just 'cause you made the vow doesn't mean.
Now you're gonna keep it.
It doesn't mean that your heart is in the right place.
You deceive yourself with promises to God.
Again, this desire to make a promise and when we feel that need to make a promise.
It should cause some slowing down on our part.
For us to.
Say wait a minute, wait a minute.
Why am I feeling like this promise is necessary?
Why am I feeling like I need to make this vow to God?
Is this something that God is stirring up?
Or is this?
The way that my heart is trying to obtain the fantasy.
That it is imagining.
Is there something else going on here?
Because I'm trying to add this extra weight to my work, to my words that this Time Lord, I'm really gonna read my Bible every day.
I mean it this time, and there's this vow.
Why the vow?
What's going on in your heart?
Why can't you just say yes, Lord?
I'm going to read your way.
Why do you have to?
Make it a promise.
Make it a vow.
Make it a covenant.
Add this extra weight to it.
What's going on in your heart that's that's causing that?
There might be.
Some deceptiveness that's happening in your heart.
And and what looks like a really good thing, I made this promise to serve God in this way, to walk with God in this way.
It looks so good.
Might actually be incredibly damaging to you.
Stop making promises to God.
Stop trying to relate to God this way.
This is not the way that God.
Wants to relate to us.
So how does he want to relate to?
Us? Well, we'll.
Get to that after point 3.3 though, as we move on to chapter 43 verses one through 7.
Here's the third reason why to stop making vows to God.
You are too proud.
To keep your promises to God.
You are too proud. There's too much pride in our hearts for us to keep our promises to God. Reading verses one through 4 here in Chapter 43, it says now it happened when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people, all the words of the Lord their God for which the Lord, their God had sent him to them. All these words, verse 2.
That Azariah, the son of Ocia, Johanan son of Kareah, and all the proud men, spoke, saying to Jeremiah, you speak falsely.
The Lord our God has not sent you to say, do not go down to Egypt, to dwell there.
But Baruch, the son of Neriah, has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that you may put us to death, or carry us away captive to Babylon.
So Johanan, the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people would.
Not obey the.
Voice of the Lord to remain in.
The land of Judah.
See the scene?
They're on their way to Egypt.
We need to check and see, make sure it's OK with the Lord.
We're going down.
To Egypt Jeremiah inquire of the law.
Word and we promise whatever he says, pleasing or displeasing.
We will obey.
The Lord, the Lord comes back and says stay in the land, don't go to Egypt.
And they said.
Jeremiah, you're crazy.
You have bad motivations, Jeremiah.
You are bitter from all the mistreatment that we've been given to you.
You're trying to set us up to be killed.
You're trying to set us up for captivity.
Or no, no, no, it was Baruch.
You're your scribe.
He's the one.
He's he's like.
Poisoned your your mind.
He's been like whispering in your ear, these things and and he's twisted you and you're not hearing from the Lord.
You're hearing from Baruch and and he's trying to pay us back and set us up.
And no, there's no way that God would come back and say stay here for sure, God is saying we need to go to.
And so it aptly describes this.
Group in verse suit as.
All the proud men.
All the proud men.
Is that inflation of ourselves?
Believing our thoughts above the Lords.
Are better than the Lords.
Our strength is what we need.
They're not humble men.
Or willing to say, you know, I was fully convinced that Egypt was the right path.
But now, Lord, that you said that.
I don't understand it.
I don't see how that could be a better path to stay here in the land.
It just doesn't make any sense to me.
But why do you know better than I do?
And so I'm going to listen to what you have to say.
Well, they weren't humble men.
They were proud men.
If God had come along and confirmed and said, yeah, go to Egypt, they would say.
Yeah, we knew it all along, alright.
We're on our way.
So we like to hear from God when it suits our needs or fits and aligns with our desires and plans and fantasies, but we're not willing to be redirected or corrected by the Lord.
And that's an issue for us.
Pride is an issue of our hearts.
Pride is an issue for us to be aware of and on guard against.
I would encourage you.
I think it's good to kind of challenge ourselves regularly.
When's the last time God has told me something that I don't want to hear?
Like if God only tells you things that you're like?
Yes and Amen.
Yes, I yeah, you got it. Lord, no problem, 100% I'm there if that's your experience in your relationship with God.
I pray that it's.
A genuine 1.
But there is a little bit of concern that you should have.
That your relationship with God is based on the deceitfulness of your heart, and in your pride you are only hearing.
The things that you want to hear.
It's very easy for us to just kind of dismiss as crazy as that guy baruk he's probably poisoning your mind.
You know, I I don't know why he would say that, but, you know, he just he doesn't understand what's really going on here, so.
It's easy for us to dismiss.
I don't have to listen to that, because Jeremiah, yeah, he probably is bitter and so his word can't be trusted, you know, he he didn't hear from the Lord like that.
Like, why would we ask Jeremiah?
Like, what were we thinking?
Like, you know, we just beat this guy up like crazy.
And then now we're asking him to speak to like, yeah, that was just a dumb move on our part.
That wasn't the Lord speaking.
That was just yeah, we made a mistake on that.
We shouldn't have asked him, but we already know what the Lord wants us to.
Do so let's go to Egypt, guys.
That's what dollar wants us to do.
So it's going to be.
The best course?
Holding to our.
Ideas, our thoughts, our ways instead of the Lords.
You are too proud.
To keep our promises to God.
Pride in our hearts.
We'll get in the way of those vows we made to God, because even if there are portions where our fantasy aligns with what God wants, then there's going to be where it deviates, where it veers.
And I said I was going to read.
My Bible every day.
Lloyd but man, there is this opportunity right now and I will complete, but I could still make it.
Right now, if I if I just leave, right now, if I if I break this vow and that, you know.
It was nice when it aligned with what I wanted.
It was nice, yeah, when I was walking with the Lord and everything was agreed until I wanted to pursue this relationship.
I wanted to have that guy or that girl and and now the things of the Lord, you know?
Not so sure that God knows what he's talking about, you know, in those things.
And so there's good contact.
Let me just read you the context for why I can ignore this verse here.
You know, there's this context here.
And then you got to understand, you know what Paul is saying here was this and and and these things over here you know also contribute to that and so so I don't have to.
Listen to this.
Because I want that.
And my way is better.
My thoughts are better.
We're too proud to keep our promises to God.
We can't do it.
And this is really the whole point.
Pride and promises go hand in hand.
They're a show of strength.
In our own words.
We're presenting ourselves as.
Strong when we promise to God.
We're presenting ourselves as capable of keeping our promises.
We're presenting ourselves as having the right idea and the right path in.
The right course here.
We're presenting our strength, or what we think is our strength, to the Lord, but it's really just our pride in so many cases.
And that's not what God wants from us.
He doesn't want us. Come.
And saying, all right, God, yes, you got me and I promised this and I promised that.
And I promise that God, she's like, yeah, Oh my God, promise. More problems, more problems, more. That's not how God's responding.
He's not like, yeah.
Yeah, show me more straight show.
More of your thoughts and ideas?
Commit to more.
Make more vowels.
No, that's not what God is doing.
What is the Lord love?
Humility. He resists the proud.
But those who are humble, he exalts.
He lifts up.
And so I would suggest to you instead of a promise.
We come to God with a pleading.
We don't come to God with a promise.
God, I promise I'm gonna read.
My Bible every day.
We come to God with the pleading, and we say, Lord.
I know your words important.
You've called me to it.
I I feel a uh a draw that that I need to be involved in your word and I'm just not really doing it.
I'm not really walking in it and.
But I can't on my own.
I can't make a promise and then I'll finally keep it 'cause.
Finally I made the right promise, use the right words, added enough weight, and so now, finally, I've forced myself into this position.
No, but here's what I need.
But would you give me a thirst for your word?
But would you help me?
To dive into your word every.
Day or would we need to come?
To God asking.
For his assistance and his transformation and his radical work in our life.
Not coming to God with God, I promise.
And here's what I'm gonna do for you.
And you're so blessed today, 'cause.
I got a.
And you're going to get a discount, you know, like I'll do it for half.
No, that is the pride of our hearts approaching.
God, in a way.
That is not good.
In Psalm chapter 51.
David recovering from his sinful condition and rebellion and resistance to the the work of God in his life.
He says O.
Lord opened my lips and my mouth.
Shall show forth your praise.
For you do not.
Desire, sacrifice, or else I would give it.
You do not delight in birds offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken, and a contrite heart.
These oh, God.
You will not despise.
Open my lips.
I'm not coming to you with my own strength.
Even to open my lips.
But I don't even know how I'm.
Gonna open my lips because.
Failed so intensely.
Would I want to praise you?
And I wanna.
I wanna try to recover from this and and honor you but but Lord I.
Need you to open my lips.
Because what you're requiring is not a sacrifice if you just needed a.
Some cattle on the altar.
David says I would do that.
Just throw it.
On there, yeah.
But that's not what gives you delight like the the birds offering is not what you're asking.
You know what the.
Burnt offering was.
The burnt offering was the worshipper saying, as this animal is completely consumed on the altar.
Lord, my life is completely devoted to you.
If God was.
Asking for that, David says I would give it.
I would offer the burnt offering.
I would make that promise.
I would say yes.
But you're not asking for my strength, but you're asking for my weakness.
Here's the real sacrifice.
You want a broken spirit, a contrite heart.
That's what I come to you with.
My weakness, my brokenness.
My failure is not my strength and my bargains and negotiations.
Stop making promises to God.
And start coming to God with a broken spirit and a contrite heart.
And when you feel that desire, you feel that pool you feel.
That need to make a.
Promise. Switch up the tactic.
That the thing might be legitimate.
You might really need to.
Get into the scriptures and you might really be struggling with that intent to make a vow as a as a strategy to like try to make it happen finally in your life and you maybe even have the best intentions.
But Jesus encouraged us.
Let your yes be yes, and.
Your no be no.
Don't enter into some kind of agreement as a strategy against your weakness and against your sinfulness and against your flash.
You'll you'll you'll be out strategized every time if your tactic is to make a promise or try to use your flesh against your flesh like you're, you're not capable of.
Of winning that kind of strategy battle.
Instead, change up your tactics.
Come to God, not in power, not in strength.
Not in promises, but in weakness and saying Lord.
Will you help me?
Will you show me I need your transformation instead of a promise?
Make an earnest plea.
Lord, we pray that you would change us.
And we need it.
There's deceitfulness in our hearts, there's ideals and fantasies and our minds and pursuits and things that were desiring and craving and chasing after, and plans that we've already made that we're hoping you'll confirm and Lord, all so much.
Happening in our hearts.
We need you desperately, Lloyd.
To move, to change us, to work in US and redirect us.
But we need you to.
Working us the will.
To do your pleasure, the desire.
To focus on you and the things of you.
Help us, but give us wisdom.
To not further entangle ourselves in the flesh by using instruments of the flesh to try to get out of our dilemma.
Help us load.
To call out to you.
To cry out to you.
To plead for your mercy.
And your Grace and your power and your transformation and your deliverance and your work in our lives.
I pray this in Jesus name.