August 16

Read Jeremiah 7 -- 10

In Today's Reading:

Plea for repentance; punishment for Judah's rebellion; mourning over the people's sins; idols will perish

All adult men who were physically able were required by the Law to attend three major festivals (feasts) annually in Jerusalem. These occasions were to be joyful celebrations of praise to God for His provision and protection. But, on this occasion Jeremiah did not give the crowd a warm welcome; instead, he pronounced a harsh condemnation: Hear the Word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. . . . Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 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? (Jeremiah 7:1-2,9-10).

They were also indifferent to the command God had given about the pagan inhabitants when they first entered Canaan: Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods (Exodus 23:32).

The people considered Jeremiah's preaching far too narrow-minded, so they would not tolerate this prophet of God. They had declared: We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us (Jeremiah 8:8). The physical presence of the Scriptures and the Temple gave them a false sense of security. The prophet reminded them: They are dismayed and taken . . . they have rejected the Word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely (8:9-11). The Israelites 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 the all-wise God have conditions to live by and do not give His people license to sin or ignore His Word.

Then, as now, people foolishly assume that each person should have the freedom to worship whomever, or whatever, he chooses according to his own conscience while ignoring the commands of our Creator. But Jesus said: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). Some today call themselves Christians, but harbor secret sins and unsubmitted hearts. Jesus reminds those who say they are Christians while still living sinful lives: Why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46). If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed; And ye shall know the Truth, and the truth shall make you free. . . Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin (John 8:31-32,34). He also declared: Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21).

Christ Revealed:

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 I Corinthians 6:19-20.)

Word Studies:

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.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Diana Hash · Pray for Trans World Radio · Government Official: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) · Country: New Zealand (4 million) two large islands southeast of Australia · Major languages: English and Maori · Religious freedom · 51% Protestant; 16% Roman Catholic; 3% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that the Lord protects you and provides your needs (Philippians 4:4).

Optional Reading: II Peter 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9