Public Service Announcements can be ridiculous.
You flip on the TV and all of a sudden Derek Jeter from the New York Yankees is on the screen. You think to yourself, “Cool! I wonder what baseball thing he’s talking about?” So you turn up the volume only to find out he’s not talking about baseball, but instead he’s promoting neutering your Yorkshire terrier to prevent over population.
Kids are great at this phenomenon too. Mom or dad could tell them 100 times not to jump on the couch but grandma comes in the room and with one look they are sitting on the bottoms like there were magnets in those cheeks and cushions.
What’s crazy is not that famous people do these commercials, but what seems nutty is that we actually will do what they tell us! And I know parents are going crazy across the world thinking, “You will do it if grandpa or Angelina Ballerina tells you, but not if your mom does?”
I think God has to feel that same way about us all the time.
In the book of Jeremiah we read about the Recabite family. God told Jeremiah to essentially go to them and have a glass of wine. However, when Jeremiah offers it to them they are quick to say “We do not drink wine, because our forefather Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: ‘Neither you nor your descendants must ever drink wine.’” (Jeremiah 35:6).
However, they didn’t stop there. They went on to list a litany of other things their forefathers had commanded them to do such as where to live, what to live in, what to farm, and many other “don’ts”. It was obvious that the words of their ancestors carried huge weight to these people.
What’s interesting is what happens in verse 12 when God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah to these people. He says:
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying: “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefathers command. But I have spoke to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.” (Jeremiah 35:12-14)
He goes on later to say, “I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer.” (Jeremiah 35:17b)
The Recabites so in tune to their forefathers and tradition that they became deaf to what God was telling them in the moment. They would rather listen to grandma instead of God, and as a result God ended up being punishing them.
Who we listen to will determine how we will live.
Who do you listen to the most?
- Is it the Olympic Hurdler LoLo Jones who tells you to floss?
- Is it the celebrity you follow on Twitter you hope to retweet when they find an inspirational quote on the bottom of a Snapple lid?
- Is it your mom who can tell you to do anything and you will jump?
What about God? Do you listen to Him?
- Are you listening to the world that tells you to move in with your boyfriend before you get married or are you listening to God who says to trust Him and marry them first before you play house?
- Are you listening to your friends who tell you to buy the biggest and best or to God who says to be wise with your money and a good steward?
- Are you listening to your coworkers that want you to lie about when you came in to work so you can get a few more hours on your check or are you listening to God who wants you to be honest?
I’m not saying that what our mom or Kevin Bacon is telling us to do is a bad thing in fact much of what they tell us to do are great things. The problem is when we ignore the Word of God for the word of the World. When what is going on around us becomes our focus and God becomes background noise.
As Christians we must stay in tune with what God’s Word tells us about our life and our relationship with Him. That ultimately is what He desires and wants us to live our life by. We can quote all the scripture we want on Facebook, but if we aren’t living it out in our life what’s the point?
Be careful not to take what you hear around you as gospel and ignore the True Gospel in the process.