Can you imagine God telling you not to bother praying for someone? Well, that’s exactly what he told Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:16). “Do not pray for these people,” the Lord said, “do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.” What would cause God to say something so terrifying?
The people were not obeying God. Instead, they were baking cakes for the “queen of heaven” and pouring out drinks to other gods (Jer. 7:18). They hadn’t completely forgotten God, for they still offered burnt offerings to Him too. But that just made the insult worse! God said that when he led their ancestors out of Egypt, he did not give any commands regarding burnt offerings and sacrifices. Instead, he said “Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people.”
The people thought that God would overlook their disobedience to him as long as they appeased him with an offering now and then. Are we any different? Do we expect God to be fine with our selfishness, arrogance, lust or laziness, so long as we give him a quick shout-out before dinner or a ball game?
Loyalty, devotion and obedience were the offerings that God really wanted. Today is no different. God did not give us his Son, so that we could occasionally toss a few dollars his way, or grant him a couple hours of our time now and then. God cares nothing for offerings without obedience. God wants you.
Give Him what He wants.