Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are Jeremiah 7-9
Rabbit Trails: Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a convicting ride.
We’re gonna start out in pursuit of a rabbit on a trail that will lead us back to our reading – eventually.
Today, I want to begin by talking about murder. Now, you probably got an image of someone maliciously taking another person’s life when I said that. But is that the only definition?
How about adultery? A spouse cheating on their spouse with another person. But is that the only definition?
What if I told you that the Father considered it adultery when His children go after other gods or worship idols?
- Exodus 34:15 He says “They are spiritual prostitutes, committing adultery against me by sacrificing to their gods.”
- Exodus 34:16 He says “Then they will cause your sons to commit adultery against me by worshiping other gods.”
- Psalms 106:39 says “They defiled themselves by their evil deeds, and their love of idols was adultery in YHWH’s sight.”
- Isaiah 57:7 states “You have committed adultery on the mountaintops by worshipping idols there, and so you have been unfaithful to me.”
With these verses, we’ve established that YHWH sees adultery in additional ways, although He is still clear that being unfaithful to a spouse is adultery as well.
And now back to murder.
- Proverbs 18:21 says: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Whoa. So it is a thought (with lots more scripture to back it up should you choose to dig around a bit) that when we use our words to injure someone, it is a spiritual murder so to speak.
Okay, put this in your back pocket for now and let’s get into today’s readings.
Note: When I refer to the church, I like to use the term “we” because we, as children of YHWH, are all part of a collective body. As such, we should feel the pain and accountability of that body – even though we will each be judged according to our own life.
When the body falters, we grieve.
When the body strays away from the path – we grieve but do not follow.
Still, we are part of the body.
Diving right into chapter 7, we are met with
“Behold you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and THEN come to stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say ‘We are delivered!’ – only to go on doing all these abominations?” Jeremiah 7:8
Now in case you missed it, based on our word studies when we began today, that’s 8 out of the 10 commandments they are breaking right there. The Father is flat out calling them out. My paraphrase of this passage is: ‘So you go around breaking MY Commandments and then have the nerve to come into MY house and proclaim that I’ve delivered you from sin – then you go on practicing this sin as soon as you leave my house again?’
That is some nerve, right? I mean, how bold can someone be, especially to do all of this stuff that they know full well YHWH can see, knowing all too well that they’ve been told not to do it, then pretend that it’s all good in His eyes. Some nerve.
They were only breaking 8 out of the 10 commandments. At least there were two that were still somewhat obeyed.
In our time, we have bestselling pastors/authors telling us that NONE of the commandments apply to us anymore. We have churches telling us to come as we are and stay that way because the Father will love us right where we are at and we can just love Him back, ignore everything else, avoid His word, and rework Him to be a soft fluffy god that merely smiles warmly at the world and all of it’s trappings.
Only – that isn’t YHWH. That is a god we’ve created in our own minds, but it isn’t YHWH.
So at least they were keeping 2 out of 10. How many do you think the church, collectively, adheres to in our time?
Here is the quick summary:
- We shouldn’t have other “gods” in our life. Only Him.
- No Idols
- Don’t take His name in vain or misuse it
- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
- Honor Father and Mother
- No Murder
- Don’t commit adultery
- Don’t steal
- Don’t lie
- Don’t covet
This doesn’t even come close to what the ten commandments actually say, it is a quick micro-summary for the sake of making a point. If you wrote them out in their entirety back when I challenged you to do that, you saw that they take up several pages to write. Please take a moment to read them in their entirety today in Exodus 20 as a small honor to the Father for loving us enough to so generously share His wisdom with us.
So how many commandments do we keep? I’d say out of all of those we may mostly have the murder thing in the clear but if you include the evil speech of the tongue that one is out as well.
While there is a percentage that can claim innocence of marital adultery, how many of us can truly claim we have not committed adultery against the Father by making idols out of the things of this world?
Truthfully, I can go through them all but, as a whole, I don’t see a single commandment that the collective church keeps today. Even the super obvious ones. I’m not saying individuals don’t keep them but the group as a whole doesn’t even come close. The miserable level of unfaithfulness that Israel had in Jeremiah’s time would be something we could aspire to and still be in better shape than we are now.
Which leads me to my next verse. Hang on because I’m gonna hop around a bit today.
Going up a bit to Jeremiah 7:4
Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘ This is the temple of YHWH, the temple of YHWH, the temple of YHWH.’
Now some of you may be thinking “What does that mean?” Let’s translate it to the modern equivalent.
Do not trust yourself in these deceptive words: ‘This is the church! This is the church! This is the church!”
What does that mean? Going to church, being in a house dedicated to Him while living our lives without any dedication to Him? If we don’t hold His word in authority and don’t do as He says but then go to church and declare “We are delivered!”, we are not just sinning before Him, we are BOLDLY sinning before Him.
Y’all, honestly, I sin enough without trying not to. I sin enough by accident, with good intent, and with a heart set on YHWH. So when I see Him pointing out something and saying not to do it, I set my heart right skippy-like to step in line and do what He says.
Bold sin can be avoided.
Bold sin, sin when we know better, sin when we’ve been warned and forgiven and covered in the blood of our Messiah – but we set our hearts to go right back and do it again – that’s a whole other ball of wax in the eyes of our Father. It is an abuse of grace and it is high handed. Numbers 15:28-31
And there is absolutely no excuse, no matter how many are doing it, no matter what pseudo pastor or false teacher said it was okay, no matter how long it has been going on.
Once the Father has let us know what He thinks about it, we have to make a choice between forsaking the teaching of the world and obeying the Father or forsaking the Father for the world.
I was a bold sinner most of my life. There were things in God’s word that I knew He had said but I believed they no longer applied because no one else was doing them. Kinda like when you finish a test before anyone else but you look around and see that everyone else is still working on it so you look down again and pretend to be working on it, too. I saw what God said as a child, it was simple and straightforward. But I looked up and saw that no one else was keeping His commandments so I doubted myself and figured I must have misunderstood.
Let’s read the whole passage now.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. 3 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’
5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Jeremiah 7:7 -10
This passage teaches us that we can’t flatter ourselves by thinking we can live however we choose and all will be well in YHWH’s eyes. By saying “We’re the church! We’re the church!”
Then we live how we want.
We ignore Him.
We ignore His commandments.
We sin against Him.
We commit adultery against Him by having other gods before him.
And then we say we’re the church! We’re the church!
Messiah Responded to that in Matthew 7:23. Read that now if you like.
Jeremiah 7:13 the Father says He spoke to them persistently and they refused to listen, He called them and they did not answer.
As a result, in Jeremiah 7:16, Jeremiah is warned not to even pray for these people, not to cry out for them, pray for them, or try to intercede for them because the Father will not hear it on behalf of these people.
Man. And they weren’t even breaking as many commandments as the church today does. If that isn’t a stark wakeup call I don’t know what is.
Jeremiah 7:19 reminds us that though we may now realize we are wronging YHWH, how much more so are we wronging ourselves by removing the blessing of a relationship with Him from our lives?
Jeremiah 7:23-28 reiterates how simple the Father’s instructions were, how He urged them time and again, but so strong was their foolish faith in their own wisdom and their own ways that they shut Him out, time and again.
As you continue reading in chapter seven you’ll see YHWH basically say (THIS IS MY PARAPHRASE) “Y’all don’t think that because you’re in my temple and walking around saying you’re worshipping me that I don’t see what you are doing. Don’t think walking under the banner of my name will protect you when you do all of this evil in my eyes. Check out Shiloh, see how well that worked for them.”
Shiloh was a Biblical city that was the center of worship for YHWH for over 300 years.
The people who lived there felt they were in YHWH’s city and protected – yet they began to live however they wanted – and He destroyed them – twice.
Moving on to chapter 8, we read
Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit; they refuse to return. Jeremiah 8:5 (see Jeremiah 16:19, “Surely our fathers have inherited lies.”)
“Everyone turns to his own course, like a horse plunging headlong into battle… but my people know not the rules of YHWH.” Jeremiah 8:7
Jeremiah 8:8 makes a bold charge – and remember that the Father is the one speaking so this is not a baseless charge and the implications of it are still suffered by us today.
8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie. Jeremiah 8:8
The word for “law” was originally “torah”. Pay attention to what this passage is saying. What is the Father charging the scribes with doing to His Word?
Behold, they have rejected the word of YHWH, so what wisdom is in them? Jeremiah 8:9
Answer: none. These are people whose ancestors as well as themselves have known YHWH as His favored people and they have access to His word and yet they reject it. They have no wisdom with them, just as YHWH says.
Again we see this line…
“They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.” Jeremiah 8:11-12
Boldly sinning. No remorse. No concern. Most likely not even a realization that they had sinned against Him because they did not know the Word of the Father, they did not understand His rules, His ways.
They felt secure because they were the church. They were the chosen people of YHWH, and in that they found security.
When I would gather them, declares YHWH, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves have withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them.” Jeremiah 8:13
We will know a tree by its fruit. There is no fruit in YHWH’s people that would denote them as being of Him. This is a further indictment and proof of their choices.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:15-20
It is time for a fruit check.
Falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land; for they proceed from evil to evil, and the do not know me declares YHWH. Jeremiah 9:3
We will continue to read in our passages today what YHWH’s reminder to them was about that. Pay careful attention to the charges YHWH places against them. They don’t know His word, they don’t walk in His ways, they chase after other gods.
See what I mean? Hard stuff in Jeremiah.
Clear and hard stuff.
The Father is speaking plainly and it is simply impossible for me to overlook His words and disregard the obvious lesson in here for all of us.
It’s hard on my heart to read. Each chapter gives me more to look at when examining my own life in my desire to grow closer to the Father, to please Him, and to situate myself more in line with the shadow of my Messiah’s footsteps.
Read Jeremiah 9:12-16 and ask this question: If the Father feels this way about Israel forsaking His commandments, why do we think He will be okay with us doing the same? Do we really think that YHWH would condemn His beloved so harshly and then change His mind and let us do worse? (Malachi 3:6 offers insight) Do we honestly think that Messiah gave His life so that we could forsake the Father’s wisdom and live according to our own?
In that same passage we see the wisdom the wise men should boast in:
23 Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, 24 but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24
Y’all don’t shoot the messenger. Instead, let us marvel at how amazing it is that our Father took the time to show us these truths in His word.
Because the truth is, He does love us just as we are. But He loves us too much to let us stay that way.
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!