Devotional Thoughts for Today
“God, I think I know better than You”
When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians,[a] so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah.
When we were little, our parents would warn us not to touch the hot pot—but we would touch it anyway. Upon touching the hot pot, we quickly learn that touching a hot surface leads to tremendous pain. But what drives us to touch the hot surface when we were told not to? For the scientific-minded, it could be curiosity; for the rebellious, it is our arrogance trying to prove them wrong.
In this passage, Jeremiah had just finished delivering God’s command to the remnant of Israel to stay in Canaan instead of running away to Egypt. Instead of the obedience that was promised by Israelite leaders, Johanan and Jezaniah, they rebelled against God’s command (Jeremiah 42:5-6).
What caused the leaders of Israel to change their attitude from obedience to rebellion? In verse 2, we see that it was the Israelite leaders’ arrogance that led to their rebellion. They had thought that for sure God would want them to go to Egypt, but when God’s word did not align with theirs, they rejected Him. As a result, their pride and disobedience led to their destruction.
We may be looking at the Israelites with some judgment, thinking, “Didn’t they say, ‘Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you…’ How can they be so prideful?” Yet sadly, we are guilty of doing the same thing.
We all struggle with pride: it may not be outspoken pride such as boasting, but it silently exists in the form of disobedience. Like the Israelite leaders, we know what God wants or calls us to do, but we choose to follow our own path—thinking we know better than God. Our pride blinds us to believe that God is not for us, but against us.
However, the truth is that God is for us and not against us! God calls us to live a life of obedience, not because He wants to control our lives, but He truly wants us to walk in His blessing. Luke 11:28 says, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Let us be followers of Christ, who through humility can walk in obedience to God’s word!
Prayer: Dear God, thank You that You want us to walk in your blessing. Forgive me for thinking that I know better than You. In those areas of my life where I want to go my own way, please remind me that “Your ways are higher than my ways.” Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Kings 13
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 25:4-11: Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. 8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. 11 For the sake of your name, Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Questions to Consider
- What is a blessing that comes from the goodness of God? (vv.8-9)
- What ways of the Lord are loving and faithful? Why is this important to understand? (v.10)
- Spend some time meditating on this passage.
- Because the Lord is good and upright, He instructs sinners in His ways, He guides the humble in what is right, and He teaches them His ways.
- According to the psalmist, all the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful. This is important to understand, because there are moments in our lives where His ways may not make sense or align with ours. However, we must remind ourselves that God ways are best and He is always for us and not against us.
- Personal reflection.
What are some areas in your life that you are not entrusting to God? Take some time to reflect on the reasons that prevent you from doing so. After your reflection, ask the Lord to help you remove those things from your lives, so that you can walk in a life of obedience.