But I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.
My son and his family are relocating to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We have all been amused by my youngest grandson. Instead of saying Dallas, Texas, he says he's moving to Texas Dallas. In fact, I have started calling it Texas, Dallas myself!
A three-year-old getting the names of a state and city backwards is cute and endearing. But getting some things backward is perilous.
In this passage, God is warning the Israelites to obey Him. But they are not paying attention. Instead, the people are following the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. God tells them they are going backward instead of forward. What happens as the results of their disastrous decision? They spent 70 years in exile away from their beloved Jerusalem. If only they had listened to God's warnings and gone forward.
We, too, have God's Word filled with warnings to guide us. We choose whether to follow God or our own stubborn hearts. I pray that we will all go forward and not backward.