Preaching at the church door!
Scripture reading for August 4th: Jeremiah 7-10
Jeremiah was told to preach to his people and warned they would not listen! (Jeremiah 7:27) God told him on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins. Jeremiah wept rivers of tears for them anyway! (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23) His preaching was straight and he used interesting object lessons in 40 years of ministry!
He stood at the door of the temple and preached as God instructed him. “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. This is what the Lord Almighty, The God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, and in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever. But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.” Jeremiah 7:2-7
His people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived! They were using religious activities to justify selfish lifestyles. Their trust was in their attendance at the temple. God called for a change in ways and actions that would align the people’s hearts with His. God cared about orphans and widows. He cared about the alien and the poor. His heart was broken for injustice and innocent bloodshed. God wanted His people to reflect His heart of love. They were in idolatry to their own selfish ways!
God was watching over His word! He saw hypocrisy and used Jeremiah to call them to repentance. 600 years later, Jesus Christ went into the temple of the Lord and saw similar things with his people and the money changers. He quoted from Jeremiah: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’.” (Mark 11:17) (Jeremiah 7:11) He cleansed the temple and drove them out! Do we need more preaching at the church door?