Tag: Jeremiah 7-10

Confronting church-goers!

Scripture reading for August 6th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah was sent to preach to his people and told up front that they would not listen!  (Jeremiah 7:27)   He was told on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins had removed them from God’s grace!  (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23)   He was known as the “weeping prophet” because of his many tears over God’s people!

“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

God’s people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived!  Jeremiah’s words struck to the heart of the matter without beating around the bush.  God was not interested in religious activities, but in each heart!  Their trust was in their attendance at the temple.  God was calling for a change in their daily walk with God.  He cared about orphans, widows, the alien, and the poor.  His heart was broken when innocent blood was shed and people deal unjustly with one another.  He hated adultery and lying.   He loved His people enough to confront them through Jeremiah!

Six hundred years later, Jesus Christ went to the temple and saw the same things with 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 then cleansed the temple!  He stands at the door of our heart, which is now His temple.   What will He say to us?

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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?

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God is Watching!

Scripture reading for August 6th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah was told to go and stand at the entrance to the temple of God and speak a strong message to the people of Israel who were going in to worship.  He was to preach as they entered or left, calling them to repentance and away from the deception of empty religion.  He would be considered a fanatic today and would probably be heckled or possibly even be arrested for disturbing the peace.  Let’s consider his message.

“Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before Me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, “We are safe”–safe to do all these detestable thing?  Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you?  But I have been watching declares the Lord!” (Jeremiah 7:9-11)   Jeremiah had a tough message for a hardened people.  They were so hard that God told him not to pray for them any more.  He would not listen to prayers for them.  (Jeremiah 7:16)  He also told Jeremiah that the people would not listen to his message from Him either.  (Jeremiah 7:27-8)  Jeremiah was to cut off his hair and throw it away and take up a lament for this lost people who were beyond God’s help.

Wow, this is hard stuff!  Why would God have Jeremiah preach this message if they would not listen?  Why would God tell Jeremiah not to pray?  Was God unmerciful?  Would He not give them another chance?  A principle of God is that preaching brings responsibility and, if there is no response,  judgment.  Prayer postpones judgment.  God had given these people opportunity to repent by sending many prophets.  They had rejected the message again and again until the only remedy left was God’s wrath!  (Jeremiah 7:20, 25-26)

Because of sin, man has a blind spot.  He tends to think that God doesn’t see what is done in darkness.  When God doesn’t judge immediately, he tends to think that God may be soft or senile.  None of these presumptions are true.  God is watching everything and will judge the evil and reward the good.  His eyes penetrate the darkness and it is as light to Him.  He even sees inside and knows the motives and thoughts of our hearts.  Respond today if you hear His voice!

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Preaching at the church door!

Scripture reading for August 6th: Jeremiah 7-10

Jeremiah is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.  His call and ministry are unique.  He is told to go and preach to his people and told up front that they will not listen!  (Jeremiah 7:27)   He is told on several occasions not to pray for his people because their sins have removed them from God’s grace, but he weeps rivers of tears for them anyway!  (Jeremiah 7:16) (Jeremiah 9:22-23)  He ministers for just over 40 years and is mistreated and threatened by his own people and their leaders.  His preaching is straight and he uses some interesting object lessons to try to get the people’s attention!  In today’s reading, he is told by God to go right to the gate of the temple of the Lord and preach to the people as they arrive for worship and sacrifice.

“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

These people were going through the motions of religion and were deceived!  Jeremiah’s words struck to the heart of the matter without beating around the bush.  We can use our religious activities to justify our own selfish lifestyles.  God is not interested in religious activities unless they come from a heart that is humble, repentant and willing to listen to Him.  Their trust was in their attendance at the temple.  God called for a change in ways and actions that affected their daily relationships and walk with God.  He cares about orphans and widows.  He cares about the alien and the poor.  His heart is broken when innocent blood is shed and people deal unjustly with one another.  He hates adultery and lying because it is not loving and He is love.  God wants His people to reflect His heart of love.

God is watching over His word and His people’s response to His word!  He sees hypocrisy and desires repentance and faith.  Jesus Christ went into the temple of the Lord and saw the same things with the money changers and traders.  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 then cleansed the temple!  We need more preaching at the church door!

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