In Today's Scripture 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 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 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 (sinful things)? (Jeremiah 7:2,9-10).
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 (8:8). The physical presence of the Scriptures and the Temple gave them a false sense of security. The prophet warned them: (You) have rejected the Word of the Lord. . . . 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). They were confident that God would never allow them to be destroyed since they were His chosen people. But the Lord's Covenants do not give His people license to sin or to 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. But Jesus declared: 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 continue in secret sins. Jesus asks 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). He reminds us: 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. . . . 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).
As the One who demanded a cleansed Temple (Jeremiah 7:1-11). Jesus said: My House shall be called of all nations the house of prayer (Mark 11:17).
7:15 whole seed of Ephraim => all the people of the northern kingdom; 7:33 fray them away => frighten them away; 9:7 melt them, and try them => refine them by testing with affliction; 10:22 noise of the bruit => sound of a rumor.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash Government Official: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) Country: Djibouti (447,000) in eastern Africa Major languages: French and Arabic Limited religious freedom 91% Muslim; 7% Roman Catholic; .75% Eastern Orthodox; about 300 Protestants Prayer Suggestion: Believe that what God promises, He will bring to pass (Genesis 15:1-6 & 21:1-3).
Optional Reading: II Peter 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 4:7