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
The Apostle Paul uses the term “itching ears” in 2 Timothy 4:3 to describe people who want teachers who tell them what they want to hear. These are people who want to hear what pleases them or what coincides with what they want to do. In Jeremiah 42-45, we have the tragic results of itching ears.
We see the concern.
“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.)” The captains of the forces came to Jeremiah to “get a word from God” on what they should do. They led him to believe they were concerned as to their welfare and if it was safe for them to remain in Jerusalem. They had gone into hiding before and were considering making an escape again. Many times when we are faced with important decisions, we weigh the options available to us and might ask our pastor or a trusted spiritual leader for counsel.
We see the charade.
“For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God.” Jeremiah separated himself from the people and went to prayer and study for ten days. When he returned, he confronted them about the fact that they put on a good face about wanting to know what the Lord had to say. God’s word to them was to stay in Jerusalem and they would be safe. However, they wanted to go to Egypt for their refuge. Deep down in their hearts, they desired to go down to Egypt to continue their practice of idolatry and worship the idol gods there. They wanted what Egypt would give them. Jeremiah said that they dissembled in their hearts. These people did not want counsel: they wanted consent. They wanted Jeremiah to give approval and consent to their desire. Not only did Jeremiah expose their disobedience, but he also exposed the true intent of their desires.
We see the consequences.
“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.” These people who were spared being taken into Babylon and becoming slaves would now face the wrath of God and the consequences of their disobedience. The truth was that these disobedient people desired to continue their worship of the “queen of heaven” and the worship of Egyptian gods. They did not learn a thing from God’s judgment just days before on Jerusalem. Having itching ears indicates our disobedience and unwillingness to have faith in God’s plan for our life.
We see the command.
The Bible tells us, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.” Adopting teachers to fit what we want does not change the truth of God’s Word. Hear what God has to say and obey Him. There is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey. Be careful of having itching ears.
Have an obedient God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Deuteronomy 4-5