Read Jeremiah 7 -- 10
In Today's Reading:
Jeremiah's plea for repentance; judgment for Judah's rebellion inevitable; Jeremiah's mourning over the sins of his people; the evils of idolatry exposed.
Verses for Today:
The Word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 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 (7:1-2).
All adult men who were physically able were required by the Law to attend the three major feasts annually in Jerusalem. These occasions were to be joyful celebrations of praise to God for His provisions and protection; but, this time, Jeremiah did not give the crowd a warm welcome. Instead, he pronounced the Lord's harsh condemnation: Will [you] steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely . . . And come and stand before Me in this House, which is called by My Name, and say, We are delivered (in order) to do all these abominations? (Jeremiah 7:9-10).
The Israelites of Judah maintained the required form of worshiping God. But, they also worshiped Jezebel's Canaanite god Baal and Egypt's goddess called Ashtaroth the queen of heaven. . . . they have built the high places (altars) of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire (in honor of their demon god Molech) (7:18,31; 32:35; Leviticus 18:21; 2 Kings 23:10).
The people considered Jeremiah's preaching far too narrow-minded and would not tolerate this prophet of God. When Jeremiah made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak . . . the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, [you shall] surely die (Jeremiah 26:8). Although they ignored the Word of God, the physical presence of the Temple gave them a false sense of security. They were confident that God would never allow them to be destroyed since He had made a Covenant with them as His chosen people. But the Covenants of God have conditions to live by and do not give His people a license to sin.
Centuries later, Jesus also condemned the formal religious activities of the religious leaders and quoted from these chapters when He cast out all . . . that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers . . . And said [to] them, It is written, My House shall be called the House of Prayer; but [you] have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13).
Then, as now, the majority of the people insisted that each person should have the freedom to worship according to his own desires. But we are reminded of Jesus' prayer: Sanctify them through Thy Truth: Thy Word is Truth (John 17:17).
Sanctify means set apart from the world to live for Christ. A Christian is not of this world, for our conversation (citizenship) is in Heaven (Philippians 3:20). Because of this, he will follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrew 12:14). Sanctify has reference to both the task as well as the person; it is a commitment of our lives to Christ as Lord -- not merely calling Him by the title Lord. The believer is set apart as he reads the Word of God, prays, and allows the Holy Spirit to apply God's Truth to his life. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4).
As the One Who demanded a cleansed Temple and undefiled worshipers (Jeremiah 7:1-11). Christ quoted from these verses: My House shall be called the House of prayer (Matthew 21:13; Mark 11:17; compare 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.)
7:15 whole seed of Ephraim = all the people of the Northern Kingdom; 7:33 fray them away = drive them away; 9:7 melt them, and try them = test them by the process of affliction; 10:22 noise of the bruit = sound of a rumor.
Government Official: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) · Pray for one more person to read through the Bible · Country: Sao Tome and Principe (155,000) two larger and several smaller islands in the Gulf of Guinea, 125 miles off the western coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom is fairly new · 83% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 2% animist · Prayer Suggestion: Ask to be guided by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16).
Optional Reading: 2 Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9