Truthfully, we are no different today than the people of Israel and Judah back in the times of Jeremiah. How many times do we hear the truth of God's Word, either in a sermon or spoken in love to us by a friend, only to cast the words aside in our minds and go our own ways? I know I am guilty at times.
In Jeremiah 36, Baruch the scribe reads a scroll of Jeremiah's prophecy to the king only to have it thrown in the fire. In the next chapter, Jeremiah is thrown in prison because king Zedekiah doesn't like what he says. I have to admire Jeremiah's perserverance here in speaking the truth. I know that he didn't like prison! In chapter 38, Zedekiah gets scared enough for his own personal safety that he secretly drags Jeremiah out of prison to meet with him. Finally, he listens to and heeds the words of God.
So what is it that finally causes us to listen and do what God asks of us? And why is it that all of us in our own ways at times, tend to prefer the hard way instead of God's way? Thankfully, God waits for us to turn back to Him. And thankfully, as we grow in our spritual maturity, we start listening for God's voice sooner than later.