Jeremiah is filled with lovely verses like this one:
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
I love verses like this one. They are so reassuring. God is dependable and loyal. He is always there. He will answer. It just give me the warm fuzzies thinking about it! But recently I read a very similar passage with a very different tone and a very different lesson behind it. Its from Proverbs.
"Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the Lord,
would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.
This portion of scripture is sometimes referred to as "Wisdom's Call." And its a much needed warning. I can almost see the red lights flashing! God is good and loyal and dependable but we must be on guard against complacency and laziness and the attitude that says, "I'll just call on God tomorrow. Today, I'm doing things my own way." We have to remember that God is calling us too. I don't know about you, but i certainly want to be listening to Him!
Have you ever heard people talk about what it sounds like to hear God calling you? Very few people will tell you that they actually heard God's voice. And some those people who do tell you that they hear God's voice have potential to be certifiably insane, lol. Most people will describe hearing God in the way Elijah did (you can find Elijah's story in 1 Kings 19). Elijah heard God in a still, small voice or a whisper. At times, God's voice can be the kind of thing that easy to miss. Especially in our noisy world! Hearing God's voice takes practice and that's exactly why ignoring Him is so dangerous.
We need to train ourselves to listen to all the things that God would say to us. Both the good and the bad. We need to listen to the things that give us the warm fuzzies like Jeremiah 33:3 and the things that make us a little nervous like Proverbs 1. A wise man called C.H. Spurgeon once put it like this "Hard words, if they be true, are better than soft words, if they be false." If only we would be a people who would understand and embrace this concept. If only we would listen and seek wisdom from anything that the Lord would say to us.