"Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: 'As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to you.'" Jeremiah 44:15-16
In the chapter before this, these same people had come to Jeremiah and asked him to pray to the Lord for guidance. They promised to do whatever the Lord indicated through Jeremiah. Jeremiah spent ten days in prayer and then gave them the guidance they had asked from the Lord.
But when the message from God wasn’t the one the people wanted to hear they accused him of lying and in spite of their promise, they refused to obey. Instead of staying where they were, as God was telling them, they went to Egypt and forced Jeremiah to go with them.
Now when he comes with another message from God, calling them to leave their idols and return to worshiping the one true God there in Egypt, they flatly refuse to even listen. Their hearts have been hardened beyond repair.
There is a principle that “Light received brings more light; light rejected brings darkness.” Every time we harden our heart to the Word of God and so grieve His Holy Spirit, our heart becomes harder and duller and less able to respond to His voice. But when we do listen and respond in repentance and faith, our heart is softened and becomes more sensitive to His Word.
"Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3:15)
Keep short accounts with God. Keep your heart sensitive to His voice. Let the Word convict you and respond in quick repentance and obedience whenever it does. Receive the assurance of His forgiveness and move forward, always listening for His voice.
Lord, give me a heart that listens, quick to hear, quick to trust You and quick to respond to Your Word. Open my ears to your voice and lead me. Thank you for forgiving the times I do shut my ears, and softening my heart again; in Jesus’ name I pray.
Pastor Dan Giles