- Jer. 7:1-9:26
GOD's case against Judah is a long list of sins. In today's reading GOD rebukes them for their idolatry, stealing, murder, adultery, perjury (lying or misrepresenting the truth), human sacrifice, greed, and evil intentions toward their neighbor. In addition to all these things, GOD says that their allegiance to Him was half-hearted. They would go and do all these evil things and then come to the temple and worship and expect that GOD would accept them. That is foolishness! Here's what GOD says:
1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: “‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD. 3 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. 4 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!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, 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, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever. 8 But look, you are trusting in deceptive words that are worthless.
9 “‘Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, 10 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 things? 11 Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.
12 “‘Go now to the place in Shiloh where I first made a dwelling for my Name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 While you were doing all these things, declares the LORD, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen; I called you, but you did not answer. 14 Therefore, what I did to Shiloh I will now do to the house that bears my Name, the temple you trust in, the place I gave to you and your ancestors. 15 I will thrust you from my presence, just as I did all your fellow Israelites, the people of Ephraim.’
(Jer. 7:1-15 NIV)
This behavior which characterized Judah then is the same thing that exists in the world today. There are a lot of people—millions of people—around the world who claim to be Christians. They believe in God and Jesus and they know Jesus died so their sins could be forgiven. They feel that they are saved. Yet, their actions reveal that they neither know nor love GOD. They have no idea what His Word says because they rarely read it. They don't know what is right and wrong, what is righteous and what is sinful. The only thing they know to do is follow what they were taught, the traditions of men.
We have the advantage of looking at history to see what happened to this generation of GOD's people who refused to change their ways, not believing that GOD would punish them as He said He would do. They were destroyed! We would be wise to pay attention and reform our own ways so that we don't fall into the same trap as Judah. GOD has never been pleased with half-hearted love, devotion and service. Jesus said that loving the LORD with all of our being is the most important commandment. In other words, that's where you start when you want to please GOD! These people didn't have that right, and they didn't care about it either. They were going to do what they wanted to do, and they reaped the reward of that attitude and lifestyle as well. We need to wake up and be serious about the way GOD views our attitude toward Him!