[SW312] 01/12/2018 message notes by
Pastor Susan J. Wynn ©2018
Again and Again
Again and again, the Lord sent His prophets to warn His people to repent and return to their God. Why did they not listen? And why did He keep sending them, again and again? Oh, it will be worthy of a praise break!
Texts: Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc.
Remember that the Lord is the One who will punish false prophets, and that the role of true prophets is to warn false prophets of their end, and warn God’s people to repent and return to Him.
Jeremiah 25:3 “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 “And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened (that is, obeyed) nor inclined your ear to hear . . .”
Jeremiah 26:5 “. . . to listen to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I have been sending to you again and again, but you have not listened . . .”
Jeremiah 29:19 (exile and destruction would come to pass) ‘because they have not listened to My words,’ declares the Lord, ‘which I sent to them again and again by My servants the prophets; but you did not listen,’ declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 32:33 “They have turned their back to Me and not their face; though I taught them, teaching again and again, they would not listen and receive instruction.
Jeremiah 35:14b “. . . but I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me . . .
Jeremiah 35:15 “Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers; but you have not inclined your ear or listened to Me.
Jeremiah 44:4 ‘Yet I sent you all My servants the prophets, again and again, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing which I hate.”
Why didn’t God’s people listen?
The Lord’s prophets contradicted the false prophets, whose words the people loved —
Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?
Why did they love it? It pleased their sin nature. They could continue in their sin, because they belonged to God and He would take care of them, regardless of their actions. That is what the false prophets taught.
God’s people had no discernment that the false prophets lied, because His people did not know God, nor His Word. What? They went to synagogue, they went to the temple at the appointed times. But if they knew God intimately and were students of His Word, they would be able to discern the truth from a lie.
But again and again, He sent His prophets, and it is the same today!
2Kings 17:14 However, they did not listen, but stiffened (hardened) their neck like their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God.
The Lord says, Because they do not believe in Me, they see no reason to listen to Me. Their disobedience reflects their unbelief. Do you see it? I pray you do!
But again and again, He sent His prophets — even Ezekiel, while he and His people were in exile, separated from him because of their sin — and it is the same today!
The church does not know the voice of her Good Shepherd, says Jesus:
John 10:4 “When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 “A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”
John 10:26 “But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. 27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;
In the Old Testament, God’s people refused to hear the words delivered by the Lord’s true prophets. This was their response to the Lord’s warnings through His prophets —
Isaiah 30:9 (The Lord says) for this is a rebellious people, false sons (lying, untrue, faithless)
Sons who refuse to listen
To the instruction of the Lord;
10 Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions”;
And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right,
Speak to us pleasant words,
11 “Get out of the way, turn aside from the path,
Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.”
But again and again, He sent His prophets, and it is the same today!
God’s people, and now the church, do not want to hear about a holy God who commands them to be holy as He is holy —
Leviticus 11:45 ‘For I am the Lord who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
1Peter 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy (Leviticus 11:44).”
And Jesus Christ says —
Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (that is, perfect and complete in character, your character/nature the same as His).”
And, Jesus says those who do not obey Him do not love Him —
John 14:24 “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.”
So, what does Jesus ask His people who are called by His name?
Luke 6:46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
But again and again, He sends His prophets— even to His church which is in exile, separated from Him, because of her sin!
Peter warns the church —
2Peter 3:3 Know this, first of all, that in the last days mockers (literally, false teachers) will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.”
So again and again, even today, the Lord sends His prophets!
Why does He send them again and again, even though His people do not listen?
#1 – For His name’s sake (His reputation as a merciful God) —
Ezekiel 36:22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord God, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went.
#2 – Because He is patient —
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
Patient toward YOU, Peter tells the church to whom he writes.
#3 – Because He does not want His people to perish —
Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the Lord God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’
# 4 – Because He is compassionate and will have pity and mercy on to those who turn because of the words of His prophets —
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you
(to bend, to stoop, to have pity, to have mercy)
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you
(as a parent has compassion a wayward child).
For the Lord is a God of justice;
How blessed are all those who long for Him.
(who are pierced, as bond servants, who tarry and wait for Him)
Stay (Luke 24:49)! Wait (Acts 1:4-5)! He will heal you of your waywardness by filling you with His Spirit, even for the sake of His holy name, which many have profaned with their waywardness (see Ezekiel 36:25-27)!
But a warning . . .
Hebrews 2:1 For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how will we escape if we neglect (make light of) so great a salvation?
And a promise . . .
Revelation 3:5 (Jesus says) “He who overcomes shall thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase (blot out) his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father, and before His angels. 6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Oh, the mercy of God! Humble yourself. Repent, turn back to your Lord and away from the false prophets and teachers! Believe in Him! Do it while it is still Today (Hebrews 13:3), for a time will come when the Lord withdraws His offer to receive you back. Seek the Lord while He may be found (Isaiah 55:6)!
Again and again, I will say it, continuing to press in, compelled by the love of God (2Corinthians 5:14)! Amen, Lord Jesus! So be it!