In business it is not unusual to find people who have been promoted beyond their capability. There are also people who have requested more responsibility and once they received it discovered that they were not adequate to the task. Those who observe these phenomenon who actually DO possess the necessary skills to perform the job wonder why this has happened they wonder why they were not selected for the job.
Through daily living we observe people who seem to prosper in their un-godly lifestyle. People who flaunt their unbelief yet prosper in spite of it, even because of it. We wonder why that happens when we are being faithful, yet suffering distress and hard times.
We occasionally see those who live as though money is their god and prosper accordingly. Then, when they have made their fortune, suddenly realize that they have served the wrong god and want to redirect their devotion. (How convenient.)
Then there are those who bargain with God. “You let me do this and then I will serve You.”
All of this appears to me as a conflict of interest. Not so much a “why me?” syndrome, rather a “what’s up with that?”
In Jeremiah 42 we see even a larger conflict of interest. The people of Judah, basically a remnant that is left from the Babylonian onslaught, say to Jeremiah,
“…Pray to the LORD your God for us…that the LORD your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing we should do.” (Jeremiah 42:3)
Jeremiah does intercede for the people and comes to them with what the LORD has said. Of course, what God has said is a severe conflict of interest for them, so they say it is a lie and they will not do what God said. (43: 2, 4) They want safety and a sense of security, God is offering a desolate community and almost certain discomfort. However, when they make a choice that seems to be more in line with their personal interests, they put themselves directly in the path of certain destruction.
I often make choices that are not in my personal interest, although at the time I believe they are absolutely in my best interest. I often confuse comfort as a gauge for conforming to God’s will. When in reality, comfort may be the farthest thing from His overall plan. It is just not what I bargained for.
Yes it does rain on the just and the unjust. It simply seems at times that the unjust are the only ones with the umbrellas. The just are the ones left standing in the rain. It then becomes easy to see how a conflict of interest could develop.
I am hoping that this year will be a year of specific interest. That I will invest my energies on things that benefit and strengthen my interest in the divine. That I will be able to put into perspective the dictate “Seek first the kingdom of God…”