TEXT: Jeremiah 2:1-9
1 Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
3 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord.
4 Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel:
5 Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
6 Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?
7 And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
8 The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead.
Abraham Lincoln said, “Insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?”
From the Lord’s message to Israel through Jeremiah, we see His remembrance of his relationship with Israel back when He first brought her out of Egypt. The Lord reminds His people of their “kindness” and obedience, their “loving espousals” and commitment, their willingness to follow Him even into the wilderness, and their pursuit of holiness before Him. Because of all of this she was richly blessed and defended by the Lord for hundreds of years. However, all of that is in the past. Israel has turned her back on the Lord. And the Lord laments, “O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?”
Regarding this passage, Warren Wiersbe said, “When the Lord gave the Israelites His covenant at Mount Sinai , He entered into a loving relationship with them that He compared to marriage. In Jeremiah, He says, ‘They broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them.’ In the Old Testament, Israel’s idolatry is compared to adultery and even prostitution. At the beginning of this covenant relationship, the Jews were devoted to the Lord and loved Him, but once they conquered the Promised Land, their hearts lusted after the gods of the nations around them and they sank into idolatry. Although God had taken them safely through their wilderness journey and given them a wonderful inheritance in Canaan, they abandoned Him for man-made gods. What kind of loyal love is that?”
God asks the Israelites what He has done to warrant their idolatrous behavior. “What iniquity have your fathers found in me?” The obvious answer is none. However, today, we sing about the goodness of the Lord. We write and read and even pray about how faithful He is. But, we don’t live like it. How many sad stories have you heard of husbands and wives who seemingly have a perfect marriage, yet one spouse ends up committing adultery with someone else and the marriage ends in divorce? You say to yourself, “Man, it seemed like they had it all together. They looked like the perfect couple.” You wonder what went wrong.
Well, that is how God expresses Himself toward Israel in this passage. That is how He expresses Himself to us today. God, of course, does not change. If He was faithful and loving and kind 2,000 years ago, He is the same today. If He was good and merciful and wise and holy when we first came to faith in Him, He is still all of that today. Yet, the Lord asks, ‘Why have you gone far from Me? Why have you engaged in vain pursuits? Is it something I did?’ The answer is the same for us as it was for Israel: No! It is we who have changed. It is we who have moved away from the Lord.
Perhaps, like the adulterous man or woman, there was nothing wrong with our spouse. We just got a whiff of something new, something that smelled nice, and we followed our nose. The devil dangled something shiny in front of us, and we decided to pursue that — just for fun, just for the thrill. Subconsciously, we knew that our old faithful spouse would be right where we left them. And we thought we could always go back to the way things were before. But that is not the case. The covenant has been violated. The relationship has been broken. And unless we come with repentance and humility, admitting our wrong doing, and returning wholeheartedly to the Lord, we will continue to experience His punishment and chastisement.
Our prayer ought to embody the spirit of these words written by Johann Major:
Alas! my God! my sins are great,
My conscience doth upbraid me;
And now I find that at my strait
No man hath power to aid me.
Thee I seek—I merit naught,
Yet pity and restore me;
Be not Thy wrath, just God, my lot,
Thy Son hath suffered for me.
If pain and woe must follow sin,
Then be my path still rougher,
Here spare me not; if Heaven I win,
On earth I gladly suffer.
But curb my heart, forgive my guilt,
Make Thou my patience firmer,
For they must miss the good Thou wilt,
Who at Thy teachings murmur.
Then deal with me as seems Thee best,
Thy grace will help me bear it,
If but at last I see Thy rest,
And with my Savior share it.
If you are a Christian listening today, here are three things you need to do:
1. Confess and repent of your own sins. You already know what they are.
2. Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ to repent of their sins and get back to their first love
3. Pray for souls to be saved, and do your part by witnessing to the lost.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.