There are some very powerful insights in this reading from the book of Jeremiah. It begins with a beautiful call upon Jeremiah’s life.
The best line in the calling is,
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth.’ -Jeremiah 1:7a
This line does not just apply to youth’s it applies to all people. Replace the word, “youth” with whatever your excuse is, my excuse is and it applies to us all…
- Do not say, “I am untrained”
- Do not say, “I am too old.”
- Do not say, “I cannot speak.”
- Do not say, “I have no time.”
It is a call for us all!
Chapter 2 and verse 5 is a powerful question!
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty? -Jer. 2:5
Israel has sinned and God through Jeremiah is asking them to give them evidence for what cause they had to pursue anything in life other than God.
What evidence do we have against God for our wanderings away?
I know I have none!
Several times throughout these 6 chapters we are reminded that the judgments that are coming upon Israel and Judah are a result of her own choosing. They have nothing to do with God’s choosing.
“Have you not done this to yourself
By your forsaking the Lord your God
When He led you in the way?” -Jer. 2:17
And it is not even just because they sinned. We are sinners, God understands that…listen to why the judgment is coming upon them…
“Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ -Jeremiah 2:35b
We should all remember that the final judgment is not God saying “I can’t forgive sin,” it is God allowing the consequences of sin we have not asked Him to remove to destroy us.
Yes God was upset by their sin, but judgment came not because of sin, but their unwillingness to recognize they had sinned. We see this restated in chapter 3…
“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not look upon you in anger.
For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not be angry forever.
13 ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God
And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord.” -Jeremiah 3:12 & 13
“For I am gracious…ONLY acknowledge your iniquity…”
Why in part did the people not acknowledge their sin? The leaders of the people…
“They have lied about the Lord
And said, “Not He;
Misfortune will not come on us,
And we will not see sword or famine.” -Jeremiah 5:12
“An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?” -Jeremiah 5:30, 31
“For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain,
And from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.
14 “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.” -Jeremiah 6:13, 14
Some may ask why are the people punished due to the wicked guides?
Notice in that middle passage…
“And My people love it so!”
The people were not without blame because they embraced the excuse for their sinful ways. They wanted a rationalization and their spiritual leaders gave it to them.
The last quote Jeremiah 6:13, 14 hits too close to home in our modern world. There is too much superficial healing going on in the spiritual world when disaster and great trial are just around the corner.
And we can see in our world as in the world of Jeremiah. We see it currently with those who are embracing candidates that should make us blush. We see it in the TV we watch that should make us blush. The war we hear about that should make us aghast. We are becoming a society like that in the day of Jeremiah…
“They were not even ashamed at all;
They did not even know how to blush.” -Jeremiah 6:15b
We’ve become so acculturated to sin we almost don’t even know “how to blush” anymore.
Jesus come soon!
Tomorrow’s Reading: Mark 5 & 6