For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it. ~Jeremiah 42:20
Insincerity is when someone says one thing, but his intention is something else. It means the intent of the person was not really genuine or true. Jeremiah called insincerity being “dissembled in your hearts.” In today’s devotion, we see a prayer request made to Jeremiah, but the underlying intent was insincere.
We see the dilemma.
The Babylonians, led by King Nebuchadnezzar, had overcome Jerusalem. Many of the people were either killed or taken to Babylon as captives. A small remnant were allowed to stay in the city. Among this remnant were a few captains of the forces who came out from hiding. These captains and the people who followed them were concerned about their safety. They did not feel safe staying in Jerusalem. Whenever our safety is at risk, we want to decide on the best course of action. The fear of our circumstances tends to overtake our judgment, and we decide on a course that we think gives us the best security and a new start. These captains wanted to know that they were making the right choice.
We see the desire.
“And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:) That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.” These captains requested Jeremiah to pray and ask God to show them the right way to go. Their request appeared sincere. They came across that they wanted God’s counsel for their safety. God is honored when we seek His face and ask Him for His divine direction.
We see the disclosure.
After ten days, God gave His counsel to Jeremiah for them. There were two things that they were told to do. First, they were told to stay in Jerusalem, where God would rebuild them. They would have His protection from Nebuchadnezzar. God assured them that He was with them to save and deliver them. Second, they were told that if they said “no” and went to Egypt for their safety, they would be overtaken by the Babylonians. God told them that they would die in Egypt. It was at that point that Jeremiah called these men out by disclosing to them that they had dissembled, or were insincere, when they had asked him to pray for them. In effect, they were not asking God for His counsel: they just wanted God to approve their plan to go to Egypt. They had decided that they were going to Egypt, but they had hoped that having Jeremiah pray for them would result in God’s approval. God knows the insincerity of our hearts when we pray. He knows if we really desire His will to be done or if we have selfish motives. “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3).
We see the danger.
Like Jeremiah, I have had my share of requests from people who came across as being sincere to pray for them, but only to later find out that they wanted my approval on plans they had that were not God’s will for them. This insincerity dishonors God and leads to serious, regrettable consequences. It is dangerous to have dissembled hearts when we ask for prayer. Let us have sincere hearts that pray, “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”
Have a sincere God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Samuel 8-12