For an introduction to this series, click here.
Sept. 19, 2006
Sept. 19, 2006
This will be an introduction to what I hope is a daily or every few days' summary of what I am reading in my devotions. I am now toward the end of the book of Jeremiah.
I never cease to be amazed when I read the book of Jeremiah. The man went through so much heartache and struggle. He was dropped into pits, thrown in jail, and so much more just for telling the people God's truth. It's too bad Jeremiah didn't have all the health-and-prosperity gospel preachers we have today. They could have told him a few things. I would like to see what Jeremiah's response. What would Jeremiah say if he were invited as a guest speaker at the Crystal Cathedral or Lakewood Church? It would certainly be entertaining.
One of the most amazing passages in all the Bible to me is the bold-faced response of the Jews to Jeremiah's message in chapter 44. They had already seen the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and they were living in Egypt (which Jeremiah told them not to do, by the way). Jeremiah has just told the people to get rid of their idols, and the people respond this way:
Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah, "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven, and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and famine." Jer. 44:15-18, ESV
The people just said no, we are not going to listen to you, we don't care if your message is from the Lord or not. We had it good when we were worshiping our idols, but you persuaded us to quit, and we have had nothing but heartache.
Most people are not that blatant about their rejection of God's Word, but in reality, the world and sadly too many Christians act the same way when they are confronted with their sin when reading the Bible or hearing a preacher or someone else teach the scripture. Man's wicked heart hates the truth of the Bible.
Another thing I will say before I stop here is the fact that Jeremiah didn't sugar-coat his message. He didn't subscribe to the Mary Poppins philosophy (I think it was her) that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Sadly, too many churches today don't give their people any kind of medicine- just sugar.