“Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will bring on them a disaster they cannot escape. Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.” Jeremiah 11:11
Often times when my boys are playing together, I always hear one of them cry out “Daddy!” Most of the time it is because they want something and every now and then it is because one is agitating the other and they want me to come and handle it. Without knowing where I am or what I am doing they confidently cry out my name and I believe that it is because they are sure that I am going to answer. They don’t have to see me to know that I am present and again when they call their expectation is that I will always answer. As a matter of fact, if I don’t answer the first time they will keep calling my name until I do answer.
In this text the Lord sent a hard message to the people of Judah through Jeremiah. He told them that that they would be cursed if they didn’t abide by the terms of the covenant that He set with their forefathers. God told them that if they didn’t obey what HE has already laid out then there would be consequences. The unfortunate thing for them is the people of Judah tested God’s theory by returning to the same sin of their forefathers. As a result of their actions God brought them all of the curses of the covenant. This is where today’s text picks up and God is saying that when they cry out for Him, He will not listen because they have chosen to follow other gods to serve them.
I can’t imagine crying out to God and he doesn’t answer in some way. The unfortunate part is that many people take the covenant that we have with God lightly and when it is convenient for them, they cry out to God expecting Him to always be there to answer the call. The truth is that we can sometimes sabotage our own prayers. The Bible gives light to several passages of scripture that mention attitudes and actions that can hinder our prayers. If we sin according to Jeremiah 14:10-12 the Lord says not to even pray for the well-being of His people because He will not listen. You can also see Psalms 66:18 and Isaiah 59:2. If we are disobedient Psalms 28:9 says that if we turn from the law, our prayers are detestable. Other factors that can hinder God answering our prayers are hypocrisy, impure motives (Mal 1:7-9), lack of faith and even marital problems (1 Peter 3:7).
Even though what sometimes seems to be no answer to your prayers is simply a delayed answer, we want to make sure that we are in line with God. We can’t assume that just because we are God’s children, we can act any kind of way and still expect God to answer every time we call. My boys are confident that when they call I will answer, however when I do the truth comes out and my response may not always be what they expect. When you call on God, He already knows your request. The question is have you done anything that will cause Him to delay in answering your prayers? Think about it and get back in line with God’s will.
Jesse R. Watson Jr