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Don't Rock the Boat

A STUDY IN THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH

Good Afternoon!

Do you know what it is like to be put into a position to lead people and make sure they don't cause problems?  I mean, you are attempting to keep them from "Rocking the boat."  You don't want to upset the boss.  You want to help others to keep the boss happy.  "Don't say what's on your mind" because the boss won't like it.  "He may fire you.  He may dock your pay." 

I remember working for Sears as a mechanic while in high school and my first two years of college.  We had an assistant boss who was a "hothead."  I saw him throw a light bulb at a customer one day because he was asking too many questions about his car.  His work was mainly at one end of the garage where his toolbox was located.  Most of us left him alone when we knew he was being impatient.  When the rest of us were working with him we would walk gingerly around him and attempt to tell others...including customers to not say anything that would make him angry.  We were always asking people to not "Rock the Boat!"  It was for their own good. 

In chapter 39 of Jeremiah the takeover of Jerusalem by the Babylonians is told.  Nebuchadrezzar is the king of Babylon.  We'll call him "King Neb" for short.  He went into the city and the king of Judah, King Zedekiah, and his family and supporters had escaped through an opening in the wall that surrounded the city.  King Neb's military followed King Zedekiah...found them...and took them to King Neb.  King Neb killed all the family of King Zedekiah and then blinded him and imprisoned him in Babylon.  King Neb took the people of Jerusalem to Babylon to live.  He left the poorer people in the city and put a Governor over them named Gedaliah.  Gedaliah came from a godly family.  In fact, one of his family at one time saved the life of Jeremiah.  Gedaliah was good to the Jews who were left in Judah.  He allowed them to live and go about their business as normal.  But, he wanted them to be loyal to King Neb.  "Don't Rock the Boat."

One time there were some men who decided to be disloyal and they formed an army of "Freedom Fighters" to go against Babylon.  The head dissenter was named Ishmael.  He had formed an alliance with the king of Ammon...an enemy to the Babylonians.  But, Gedaliah wanted to keep the peace and would not believe that someone wanted to defy his loyalty to King Neb.  He thought all was well.  He even invited Ishmael to his place for dinner so they could iron things out.  When Ishmael went to have dinner with Gedaliah...he killed him.  

All Gedaliah wanted to do was make his boss happy by keeping the peace among the remaining Jews.  But, there were dissenters.  Rebels, who wanted their own way and cause trouble.  Oh, wow.  I've met these types of people before.  They talk.  They gossip.  They intrude into the good ways of God's people to get their own way through rebellion and discord.  When they killed Gedaliah the people realized that King Neb would come and kill them.  They sought the advice of Jeremiah...God's prophet...and asked him if he thought they should run to Egypt to hide.  Jeremiah told them that if they go to Egypt that King Neb would find them and they would be killed.  They refused to listen to Jeremiah and they went to Egypt.  Read the results:

"...The God of Israel says:

If you are firmly resolved to go to Egypt and live there for a while,

then the sword you fear will overtake you there in the land of Egypt,

and the famine you are worried about will follow on your heels there to Egypt,

and you will die there."  42:15-16  

It is important to know that God had orchestrated the destruction of Jerusalem because of their sin.  God had chosen to use Babylon and King Neb to bring Israel to its' knees through destruction.  God had warned them.  God had given them multiple opportunities to repent and turn from their sin.  But, they refused.  Then God allowed a man in the person of Gedaliah to govern them justly after losing their nation.  But...there continued to be rebels.  Even when given the chance to live and stay in Jerusalem they ignored the word of God and ran to Egypt and they were killed...just as they had been told.  

Do you think these kinds of people exist today?  ABSOLUTELY!!!  

While people are seeking their way in God's family...many rebel and attempt to turn people in another direction.  They do all they can...like Ishmael...to make them think their rebellion is worthy and they will be liberated under their cause.  

This has been the ruin of many of God's people.  This has been the ruin of many churches.  I have seen many people who fall under the spell of someone like Ishmael and it becomes a spiritual destroyer for them.  

Then there are people like Gedaliah who is trying to do his best for his boss.  "Don't Rock the Boat!" he cries.  This is God's way.  Leave and it will be your ruin.  

Listen, our boss is God.  Our direction is to follow Him and those who God has given to us to lead.  And our leaders are responsible to follow God's direction.  The sure result of following God is a blessing.  The sure result of following someone else who is a fake for God is ruin!

Gedaliah was simply trying to do what would please his boss.  He was attempting to be a good servant.  He only lasted two months after becoming governor for King Neb.  But, those who rebelled and killed Gedaliah...the king's special appointed servant...died!  

What about you?  Are you following God's will and plan for your life?  Are you working and serving with people who have a desire to please God?  

Get out of the group that is in it for their benefit and not God's benefit.  Lock arms with servants of God and go about doing His business.  

If you encounter and Ishmael...go ahead and be a Gedaliah and encourage them to stop rebelling.  Encourage them to be a servant of God and not a toy of someone attempting to manipulate them into rebellion.  

We are living today.  We are serving today.  God will take care of our enemies.  God will strike down...sometimes before our very eyes...the rebels.  Our concern is to join arms with and partner with those getting the work done.  Let's do it together!          
May God Bless You!
Don Betts
DBEA/campus320

DBEAWINNING.COM
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY!

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