The Severity of Selfishness (Jeremiah 41:2) - Radical

The Severity of Selfishness (Jeremiah 41:2)

“Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men with him, rose up and struck down Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, with the sword and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor in the land.”
-Jeremiah 41:2

This is a very sad picture in Jeremiah 41:2. So Gedaliah had been appointed governor over the land that had been destroyed by the Babylonians and Ishmael was jealous of the power that Gedaliah had. Ishmael was a man with royal blood and probably was thinking, “Why was I not the one appointed to rule over the people?”

We are tempted to look out for our own interests rather than the interests of others. May we wage war on selfishness for the good of others and the glory of Christ.

Now, keep in mind, ruling over the people there in Jerusalem, I mean, this was a place marked by disaster and poverty. And yet, Ishmael was so greedy for power, even in the midst of disaster and poverty, that he murders Gedaliah. And in this story, I just see a humbling picture of the scrambling for power in the sinfulness of man. We are always looking for our own interests, how do we gain an edge over someone else? I think about my own life, I am constantly thinking about myself. How’s this going to affect me? How are others going to perceive me in this? I pray continually that God would just get my eyes, help me to fix my eyes on him and on others and less and less on myself.

And yet, this is the picture we see. We see it in so many ways, obvious throughout scripture and here’s one other example in Jeremiah 41:2. So, we pray. God, help us today to look, not to our own interests, but to the interests of others. Help us to look ultimately to your interests. God, help us to live today for what brings most glory to you. Just captivate our minds with that, I pray that you’d captivate my mind in that way, Lord, that I would just be driven. How can I bring the most glory to God today? What can I do to bring the most glory to you?

Jeremiah 41:2 Shows The Power Of Greed and Selfishness Over A Sinful Man.  Use This To Remember To Seek God’s Glory Rather Than Our Own.

God, help me to live for that. Help all of us who are praying this together right now. Help us to live for what is most glorifying to you and what is best for others, what is good for others. And Lord, Help us to look to others’ interests, not our own. God, please, save us from our competitive nature that is always looking to outdo somebody else or comparing ourselves with others and feeling good when we see ourselves as better than others. And feeling bad when we see ourselves as worse than others. God, deliver us from that.

Help us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. We pray Philippians 2, give us the mind, the attitude, the heart of Christ Jesus in his humility, who in the very form of God did not consider it quality with God, something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness, being found in appearance as a man. He humbled himself, became obedient to death, even death on a cross! God help us to live like that, obedient to you, laying down our lives for others, looking out for the interests of others. God, we pray that that would be our perspective on our lives today.

Save us from ourselves. Help us to live in Jesus, our Savior and Lord. In light of his example, help us to live like Jesus today. We pray this in his name, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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