The Destruction of Judah
Book of Jeremiah Chapter 7
There is a phrase in our lesson manual that I really liked. One sign of “spiritual sickness” is that we keep committing the same sins over and over at the same time expecting a different outcome. What is the logic in doing such things!
God has made sure we have the Books of the Old Testament, so we can see the examples of what sins were done in the past with Israel and the reactions God had to those things, so we can know what God will do today because Jehovah God never changes.
If we cannot learn from all these examples, then what does that say about our “faith”?
God begins in a gentle fashion trying to remind us of our disobedience, but God will use harsher methods until we learn from our mistakes.
If we say we have “faith” in the Lord, then how can we believe the lies of this world?
We should clearly understand a Spiritual change will always have a physical result!
What we have seen with our own eyes is that when this world makes idols as God then we will see what we see today, immoral societies and this cannot be denied.
We must be clear as we witness to those who are lost. Real change can only happen from the inside out and not from outside in!
As we witness we offer, by the Word of God, an opportunity to make a choice. God will always accept the decisions we make. God offers eternal life! False gods offer eternal death and we must choose between these two. Does not seem to be a hard choice, does it?
People perish simply because they make the wrong choices!
We should also understand the true meaning of a hypocrite. Hypocrites are people who pretend to be something they are not. Something like actors.
We absolutely cannot be pretenders and say we love the Lord!
*****Jer 7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 7:2 Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.
Jeremiah was a gentle man and we know that he cried a lot for his nation, but we see that Jeremiah was to be bold when he preached the Word of God! We are to do the same when we witness for the Lord, but the Pastor is to “preach” the Word of God!
Jeremiah was preaching to hypocrites and hypocrites already know what they are, and they need to understand who God is!
It was very important that these Jews understood what was going on in their lives but just as important, what was going on in the world.
As mighty as the Assyrians were who destroyed the Northern Tribes, they had just fell to the Babylonians who were an evil and wicked people.
It was a time when good King Josiah would find his death, getting involved in a war that he did not have to.
Josiah was replaced as Jehoahaz took his throne but even he was replaced 90 days later by Jehoiakim who was another of the evil rulers and he would only rule eleven years.
The threat of Babylon was always present, and Judah would never be able to defend themselves without the Lord God Jehovah, who had already delivered them so many times when they would repent of their evilness.
More important than all these things, attending a worship service in the House of God is useless without repentance and then obedience!
The truth of salvation is that those who can please God will be like God (Christlike)!
When we are not Christlike (Christian) we can never receive the blessings of God.
This is the message the Jeremiah was to preach as he stood in the gates at the entrance of the Temple in Jerusalem.
These people had no problem in attending the worship service at the Temple. Remember they were required by Moses’s Law to attend at least 3 times each year in the time of the festivals.
Their problem was that their hearts were not settled on the Lord and as soon as they left for home they would go back to their evil ways and their false gods. (Sounds a whole lot like happens today by many who attend church but are not sincere)
Eventually some false gods were moved into the Temple, which defiled the House of God!
It is an abomination to defile the House of the Lord!
These people are like those today. They are trusting that God will accept, bless, and protect them because they are faithful in their worship, but their worship extended to false gods and false doctrine.
The Lord will have no part of such a thing. There are those today that say there is more than one way to get to Heaven, but the Lord says they are all liars.
What is the truth?
Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Joh 14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
Those that believe differently are calling God a liar!
This is the same theme that Jeremiah preached in his day. There is only one who deserves our worship and it is Jehovah.
God will never accept our worship until there has been a repentance!!!!!!
In fact, for the Jews they had to repent their sin before Jehovah would allow them to continue living in the Promised Land!!!!!
They would soon realize just how important that this truth really was.
We may have the greatest church in the world and I believe we do, but this church cannot save us.
We may have the greatest preacher in the world and I believe we do, but Preacher Sam cannot save us.
He can only lead us to the one who can, Jesus Christ!
God the Holy Spirit may visit our Church, but He will never stay, because no building can house God!
Also, the Lord Jesus Christ may knock on the doors of every Church but until He is allowed to come in, that Church is not a house of God!
What was Jeremiah’s message?
*****Jer 7:3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
To amend our ways is another word for “repent” because we do not have to power to do anything ourselves!
Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: “for without me ye can do nothing”.
Every house of God in our entire nation can be full on Sunday and our nation would not be blessed unless we know the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior!
We should understand that Jeremiah was not preaching that these people could dwell in the Temple, he was preaching that God was not going to allow them to dwell on the land that He had given them unless they repented of their evil and allowed God to dwell in their heart.
This does not ever mean that God would give this land to others. God will never give this land to others because of the promise He made to Abraham!
Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
Gen 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Gen 17:8 And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
God will keep every covenant He has ever made, and He will also never break a promise that He has ever made!
What went wrong in the Temple of God? The priests were not preaching the truth of God!
*****Jer 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.
Those priests were preaching that security is in the Temple, we would say the Church.
We simply cannot trust in religious principles, we must trust in the One who gave us “His” principles, Jehovah!
We must also understand it is each Saint of God who is a Temple of God who gather together to worship that form the Church.
Our job in the church is to be discipled and/or to disciple all others, and to worship the God of truth, whose name is Jehovah!
In fact, we are to worship our Savior “in Spirit and in Truth” because He does not like it in any other fashion!
Everyone is welcome to gather but “in Spirit and in Truth” means though the lost are welcomed, they should not take part in certain parts of the worship, such as Communion until they to have a personal relationship with the Lord.
1Co 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
1Co 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
1Co 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.
1Co 11:30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
Baptism is only for those who have invited the Lord into their heart and be “Born Again”, then comes Baptism!
Do we come without any preparation of heart? Are we soon weary of the service?
Eze 14:3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
We must know that everyone is welcomed into the church building who are seeking God and in the true Church you can find Him, not because He is present in the building, but He is present in the hearts of so many of those who are also there and there is a “preacher”.
Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
A heart that is prepared is a heart open to accepting the Lord Jesus Christ!
*****Jer 7:5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
Jer 7:6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
Jer 7:7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
Christianity has to do with being like Christ in His character and in His conduct!
Christianity is that which binds us to our Savior.
Christianity is holding onto to the robe of Christ and refusing to let go.
Christianity is not in emotion but is in knowledge, the knowledge of our Creator.
Jesus says it plainly:
Joh_14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh_15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
The first step in becoming a Christian is having the right view of sin!
Sin is like a cancer that you will want to get rid of but only the Lord can wash you clean.
Psa_51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Joh_13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
We must come out from the world and live a separated life from those still in the world.
2Co 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
2Co 6:18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
When we are like Jesus Christ we will then hate sin without hating the sinner!
We will realize our battle is not with other humans, lost or saved, our battle is with principalities and powers and the rulers of darkness in this world we live in now!
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Eph 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
The nation of Judah had left their first love and now, they oppressed the weak, they shed the blood of the innocent, and they were worshipping idols.
We simply cannot allow anything to come between us and our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what it is!
Had these Jews listened to the words of Jeremiah and applied them to their lives they would never have been removed from their land no matter how powerful Babylon was at this time.
What did they do? They ignored the Word of God given to Jeremiah and they continued to follow in the ways of sin by listening to false words.
We must understand that our salvation, our peace, and our security, come from a personal relationship with the Lord and not in some building or the land that we dwell in.
Neither was this true for these Jews and the Temple of God and the land promised to Abraham!
It is so easy to fall into this trap because lies can sometimes make you think you are about to win the lottery.
*****Jer 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
What is the truth of the Scriptures?
Psa 2:10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Psa 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psa 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
We live in a world that has forgotten how to be wise.
We live in a world where almost every nation is in competition with every other nation, when they should be helping one another!
Then the Lord just ask them point blank.
*****Jer 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
Jer 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
Jer 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.
We are fools to think that God operates by some universal law made up of how we feel about Him!
God does as He pleases with everything that He says or that He does. God does not make up new laws as time goes by.
God does just as He has written it down for us. Every Word is a Word of Truth!
1) We cannot trust anyone who goes against the Word of God!
2) We certainly cannot trust anyone who rejects the Word of God!
3) We must be aware that anything we place between ourselves and the One True God, has become an idol!
When a so-called Christian allows himself or herself to do any of these things listed in this passage, they have rebelled against God’s Commandments the most critical one being “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me”.
When we do these things, we have rejected our God who is also our Creator!
If you really want to get on the wrong side of God, then do all these things and then gather in the house of God saying you are what you “aint”!
We are not delivered from sin, to just sin at our will!
It is when we have left the building we call Church, or Temple, or by any other name, that we enter into our mission field to serve the Lord and not to serve sin!
If you are a Christian, then you need to look into your personal mirror every day to see for yourself if you are what you say you are.
When we make the house of God into a den of robbers we have defiled our place of worship!
God always has His eyes on His children not to see if we are doing wrong but to see if we deserve His blessings.
God’s House is not a sanctuary for robbers and murderers!
To be saved by the “Grace” of God is not so we can have a license to sin!
The house of God is not the place to seek impunity for our abominations, it is the House where we are to seek to gather so we can worship God in Spirit and Truth because this is the way we can please Him in our worship!
If we have served our abominations, then we need to get on our knees and beg forgiveness from the Lord and then do our best to not sin again.
God knows we are not perfect, but He also knows what we are capable of and He intends for us all to be fishers of men!
Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Going to Church to worship does us no good at all if we are not living for God the rest of the time.
God will not accept our worship if we are living in sin and you cannot get into Heaven without a good relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ!
We can never say that God has not warned us of those who would teach lies for the truth!
Then the Lord says, if you think the Temple, the House of God is more important to you than truth of God then just go down to Shiloh.
*****Jer 7:12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
When Joshua brought the children of Israel into the promised land, the Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh.
Jos 18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them.
In the time of Eli, the High Priest, God gave the Ark that was kept at Shiloh to the Philistines and it was not recovered until David brought it to Jerusalem.
We should remember the Ark contained the broken tablets of Moses to remind them it was best to honor the 10 Commandments.
1Sa 4:10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
1Sa 4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
Psa 78:58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images.
Psa 78:59 When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:
Psa 78:60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men;
Psa 78:61 And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand.
Psa 78:62 He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance.
Psa 78:63 The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage.
Psa 78:64 Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.
We should be able to see that God’s favor is not in some building or any place of worship.
In fact, God’s favor is not tied down to any location at this time.
We should understand that God will not spare His wrath to those that rebel against His Words!
What are we to do in the House of the Lord?
Deu 12:11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; thither shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD:
Deu 12:12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he hath no part nor inheritance with you.
Shiloh became a mass of shapeless ruins!
And what did the Lord say?
*****Jer 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
Jer 7:14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
God said He would do the same thing to the Temple that King Solomon built by the plans of King David which the Lord said Himself was worldly, which means there is no need for the beauty and worldly objects in any place of worship.
We know that King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the Temple in the days of Jeremiah.
Again, we see that we are undeserving of the “Grace of God” and God’s has limits to His mercy.
We know that the Lord Jesus said where two or three gathered in His name He would also be there, and this is the beginnings of the Church.
The place of this gathering is not important but the fact that we are to gather together is important.
Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
We are to gather more often and not less often as we can see the day of the Lord approaching!
Worship without true repentance and then obedience will be empty, useless, and worthless in the eyes of the Lord.
God would also remove Judah from of the Promised Land.
*****Jer 7:15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
Jer 7:16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
Once God has decided what He is going to do with a certain group of people, it is useless to pray for them.
These Jews were unwilling to repent and to obey the Lord, so it would do no good for Jeremiah to pray for their forgiveness.
There are times when it becomes useless to pray for certain people but now is not the time for the church to stop praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ and also for the lost.
God has told us to continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, so it is not time to stop preaching for the Children of the Nation of Israel.
There will come the time when those who are evil are beyond repentance, but God has not told us to do so yet!
These are the type of things that would make Jeremiah cry and maybe we should do the same for those who refuse to repent, especially those on our own family!
When God says to quit praying for certain people, He will also pull back the Holy Spirit from the convicting work that He does.
Gen_6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man,
Today all those who have itchy ears and control the preaching of the Pastor should take note, because their prayers will become useless. There will be no benefit come from their prayers.
When you refuse to hear the truth of God then God will refuse to hear from you, it just that simple!
Jeremiah knew God always has remnant who remain solid in the Word of God, and he could pray for those!
The real truth is when the Lord commands His servant not to pray for sinners and He ceases to correct them, then we can be sure the wrath of God is very close!
Eze 16:42 So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
Remember the wages of sin is death and these who refuse to repent are already sentenced to death and they will get nothing else from the Lord but will join the false trio in the burning lake of fire!
The Lord will simply say ” I never knew you”.
God is not angry with those who are lost He has already passed His judgment.
God will always be angry with those who sin and claim to know the Lord in a personal way.
The Lord will save all those who call upon His name, but the Lord will reject all those who refuse to call upon His name again it is just that simple!