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Do you remember Jeremiah and how when he was a boy, God told him he was not too young to obey?
Well, Jeremiah DID obey. He grew up obeying everything God asked him to do.
But even though Jeremiah loved and obeyed God, almost NO ONE else around Jeremiah did. After King Josiah of Judah died, the kings that came after him didn’t listen to God. In fact, most of the people disobeyed God all the time and didn’t love Him at all.
Jeremiah tried and tried to help other people change their attitudes and learn to obey God too. Jeremiah cried and cried out to the people to obey.
He warned them that if they didn’t obey, God would have to discipline them.
Day after day, month after month, year after year, Jeremiah cried out, “Come back, stubborn people! It’s so sad because you seem to like doing bad things and hurting God! Now the Lord God will have to let bad things happen to you.”
But lying prophets would tell the people, “Nothing bad will happen to you. You will just have peace.” So, Jeremiah would stand in the marketplace and shout, “Don’t believe the lying prophets and priests. They lie. They say, ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace.” They say, ‘It’s safe, it’s safe’ when it is NOT safe.”
Jeremiah would sit by the road and yell, “You people have stubborn and rebellious bad hearts, you have turned off the path and have gone the WRONG way! Come back!”
But the people were so stubborn. Jeremiah tried and tried to help them, and Jeremiah cried and cried when they wouldn’t listen.
Have you ever cried? Why have you cried? Sometimes people cry because they get an owie. Sometimes people cry when they don’t get their way (that’s baaaddd). But Jeremiah cried because he was sad for other people.
Jeremiah said, “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed. I cry and cry. Is there no doctor to help God’s People who are hurt? I wish my eyes were a sprinkler of tears so that I could cry all day and all night for these people.”
But the people just got angry at Jeremiah. They even tried to hurt him.
Jeremiah said, “I am made fun of all day long. All I get to talk about is sadness and badness. But if I say, ‘I will not say God’s word anymore, I’ll just stop,’ then God’s word starts to get hot in my heart — like a fire burning me on my inside. Then I can’t hold it in anymore. I just have to say what God tells me to say.”
So, Jeremiah tried and tried, and Jeremiah cried and cried. But the stubborn people still would NOT listen.
But he never gave up trying to help the people because he knew that God would help and give good things to anyone who softened their heart. Remember that the next time you start to feel stubborn. Good things come to those who soften their hearts and listen to correction.