No Cry to Be Heard


Hundreds of years. That’s how long God patiently endured the stiff necks of the Israelites. He didn’t just tolerate them. He loved them. He had compassion on them. He spoke to them, sending messengers.

Time and again the Lord turned the people of Israel and Judah over to the inhabitants of the land because they were rebelling against God. They called out in their distress, and in His mercy, He heard and delivered them.

Again and again.

Love is patient and God is love. He was patient with them for generations, for hundreds of years. He shows them what happens when they turn to other gods. When they are desiring after the gods of the other nations, God gives them to the other nations. That’s what they were after. He gives it to them.

They cry out and He has mercy, even though it was what they deserved and even sought in their going after gods of the other nations instead of being loyal and faithful to their God.

The God Most High sends prophets to tell them what will happen if they go after other gods and aren’t faithful to the one who created them and called them, One who faithfully and devotedly loves them.

They refuse to the listen. The Scripture reading today says the king stiffened his neck and hardened his heart. It is talking about the king, but it is a description of the Israelites, of God’s people. It specifically says that he hardened his heart against turning to the Lord.

There lies the utter downfall of the king, Jerusalem, Judah, and most Israelites. They wouldn’t turn to the Lord.

That turning to the Lord, that’s repentance. It’s one thing to need to be turned over to your enemies to get sense knocked into you, but it’s a whole other thing to refuse to turn back. They stopped crying out for deliverance. God couldn’t hear a cry that wasn’t being uttered.

The church today has been turned over to the inhabitants of the land and much of it is lost. They aren’t crying out to God to be saved from it.

But there is a remnant. There is always a remnant. They cry out, and God will hear.