Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The responsibility of Jeremiah, given to him by the LORD, was to arise and speak all that God commanded him to say to sinful Judah (1:17).

In chapter 2, Jeremiah speaks the LORD's words to Judah and indicts them for their wicked apostasy. I want to look at Jeremiah 2:8  and examine just a few ways that Judah had forsaken the LORD.

Jeremiah 2:8 — "The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' And those who handle the law did not know Me; The rulers also transgressed against Me, And the prophets prophesied by Baal And walked after things that did not profit.

1. The Leadership Lost Focus on God.
The priests of the land were eager to lead, eager to teach, and eager to exercise their authority but the priests did not say: "where is the LORD?" One might think that a priest of the LORD might call upon the LORD but in these evil days such was not the case. The leadership, thus, lost focus on God and determined to make decisions, live life, and exercise authority based upon their own whims rather than looking to the LORD. They lost focus on God.

2. The Teachers Ignored God & His Word.
Those who handle the Word of God, it could be rightly argued, have one of the highest callings on the planet. To stand before people and declare: "Thus says the LORD" is such a monumental task that one should tremble at such a privilege. But the problem with the leaders in Judah was that they were ignorant of God. They did not really know God. They may have been a teacher of the Lord but they didn't know the Lord of the Law. How sad it is when those who supposedly teach the Word are ignorant of that Word and, hence, are ignorant of the God of that Word.

3. The Leadership Arrogantly Sinned Against God.
The rulers of the land transgressed against the LORD. The word "transgression" inherently implies something of prideful arrogance. To transgress means to go beyond the bounds or to trespass what has been marked out. The leadership of the day transgressed against the Lord. They knew what God commanded and they willfully — hence, pridefully/arrogantly — transgressed God's boundaries.

4. The Teachers Spoke According to False Idols.
The prophets are those who took the word from God and spoke to the people saying: "thus says the LORD." However, those who spoke did not speak according to the word of the Lord but they rather spoke according to the idolatrous practices of their gods. What happened was not a coming to the LORD in seeking Him and His Word and recounting that to the people. No! Rather, they spoke whatever the religious practice of Baal might have been. This is blatant idolatry at the most heinous form because it is replacing the Word of God with the human thoughts (and, really, "idolatrous thoughts").

5. The Nation Lived for the Earthly — Not the Heavenly.
The nation walked — that is, "lived" — after things that did not profit. What they lived for was empty. It was vain, futile, void, nothingness. And those who lived in the land loved living for the here and now and thus rejected God and pursued idols. They rejected satisfaction in God for the passing pleasures of the world. They forgot that judgment day is coming. They ignored the reality that a powerful God would bring them to His bar one day & hold them accountable for all their actions. God will repay each person according to what he has done. Indeed, walking after things that do not profit is so dangerous because people think they'll find happiness here while forgetting that an eternity of wrath awaits those who love the present world and live enjoying the pleasures of this age.

Let us learn & be warned from Jeremiah's message!


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