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Bible Pathways 08/16/04

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 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 you of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. . . . Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear (bear witness) falsely . . . and walk after other gods whom you know not; And come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My Name, and say, We are delivered (set free) 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 already declared: We are wise, and the Law of the LORD is with us (8:8). The physical presence of the Law (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 to the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even to the priest every one deals 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 nor 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 this fails to consider the fallen and corrupted nature of man's soul when not knowing the Word of God. Jesus declared: I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me (John 14:6). Some today call themselves Christians, but they harbor secret sins and have unsubmitted hearts. Jesus asks those who say they are Christians while still living sinful lives: Why call you Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46). He also reminds us: If you continue in My Word, then you are My disciples indeed; And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free. . . . Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin (John 8:31-32,34). He further declared: Not every one that says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of My Father who 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; but you have made it a den of thieves (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 = 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.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for BP Staff: Rick Hash · Government Official: Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR) · Country: Mozambique (19 million) on the eastern coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom · 40% worship of false gods, ancestral spirits, and some witchcraft; 23% Roman Catholic; 14% Protestant; 13% Muslim

Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those who forsake or disappoint you (II Timothy 4:16).

Optional Reading: II Peter 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 5:9

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