Read Jeremiah 4 -- 6
The prophet Jeremiah began his public ministry about the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah of Judah (Jeremiah 1:2). Jeremiah exposed the worldly lifestyle of the Israelites when he called them a foolish people, and without understanding; who have eyes, and see not; who have ears, and hear not. . . . having a revolting and a rebellious heart. The Word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in It (5:21,23; 6:10; compare Luke 8:10). Josiah's grandfather Manasseh and Amon his father were worldly-minded kings who led the people to forsake God and encouraged the "broad-minded" worship of false gods. It is recorded that Manasseh and Amon filled the streets of Jerusalem with innocent blood (II Kings 21:6,16,19-23; II Chronicles 33:2-9,20-23). Furthermore, Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the (heathen) nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel (II Kings 21:9).
However, Amon's son Josiah, did right in the sight of the Lord (22:2). No doubt Jeremiah was a great encouragement to Josiah. In the 18th year of his reign, Josiah began repairing the Temple and restoring worship of the One True God (II Chronicles 34:8). He then initiated a Passover unequaled in Israel's history (II Kings 23:22).
Following the death of Josiah (23:30-32), the nation reverted to the evil ways of Manasseh and Amon.
Many prophets were afraid to speak out against the sins that were popular with the people. Others had given way to greed and covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealt falsely (Jeremiah 6:13). Because of this, Jeremiah was unpopular and the Word of the Lord was ignored. This led to the nation's spiritual downfall and finally to its physical destruction and captivity.
It is sad to say that today there are church members who are too occupied with things that crowd out the time needed to read through the Bible daily for their source of spiritual needs. Like those of Jeremiah's time, these busy people have no delight in the Word of the Lord. They have not listened to . . . My Law, but have rejected it (6:10,19).
A parallel can be seen between the fall of Judah and the rapid moral decline, rise of false religions, and sexual deviation in America.
A true Christian desires to worship the Lord with other believers where there is reading and studying of the Word of God. It was foretold that the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. . . . They shall turn . . . from the truth, and shall be turned to fables (II Timothy 4:3-4).
Christ Portrayed: By Jeremiah, whom God commissioned to try the ways of His people (Jeremiah 6:27). Jesus shall one day judge all mankind. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. . . . Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is (Romans 2:16; I Corinthians 3:13).
Word Studies: 4:6 retire, stay not means go in haste, don't delay; 4:22 sottish means devoid of spiritual understanding; 5:10 battlements means branches; 5:13 wind means full of words, but speaking nothing from God; 5:30 wonderful means horrible.
Government Officials: Rep. Judy Biggert (IL), Justice Stephen Breyer, Del. Eni Faleomavaega (American Samoa), Rep. Thomas Sawyer (OH), and Rep. Maxine Waters (CA) · Pray for Intercessors For America · Country: St. Lucia (154,000) in the eastern Caribbean · Major languages: English and French patois · Religious freedom · 83% Roman Catholic; 13% Protestant; 2% spirit worship · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to show you what to do, and then be willing to do it (Acts 9:6).
Optional Reading: I Peter 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 25:40