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.
R.C. Sproul said, “Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of King Josiah. Although Josiah’s reforms were promising, they were not enough to change the actual hearts of the people. The history of Josiah’s successors, who ‘did what was evil in the sight of the Lord,’ proves this. Jeremiah’s preaching also hints at the lack of heart transformation [among the people]. As Josiah enacted his reforms, Jeremiah still had to warn the people to repent. God saw through the hypocrisy of the people tearing down pagan altars without having true love for Him.”
Previously in this series, we have looked at the unfortunate behavior of the children of Israel toward their God. God has expressed His feelings of disappointment, often responding as a husband talking to his disloyal wife. In the time of their disobedience, this passage in Jeremiah tells us that they did not even stop to consider that they had abandoned the Lord. “Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt?”
Perhaps the Lord’s most damning accusation is found in verse 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.” Even those whose responsibility it was to help the people seek the Lord did not seek the Lord.
Regarding this passage, the Bible Knowledge Commentary, edited by John Walvoord and Roy Zuck states: “Jeremiah singled out the three groups charged with leading the nation and exposed their lack of obedience. The priests who were to instruct the people in the ways of God did not know God, that is, they themselves did not have an intimate relationship with the One about whom they were teaching. The pastors (literally, ‘shepherds’) were the political and civil leaders appointed by God to guide and protect the nation. In the early history of Israel this function was fulfilled by judges, but later the duty was assigned to kings. Ironically the ones who were to lead Judah were themselves in need of correction. They rebelled against the One who had appointed them to their task. The prophets were the third group charged with leading the nation. But instead of declaring God’s words of rebuke and correction, they prophesied by Baal and urged the people to follow worthless idols. Baal was a Canaanite god of fertility whose worship was a constant thorn in Israel’s side.”
The condition of the children of Israel during Jeremiah’s day was a vivid image of what Jesus called “the blind leading the blind.” Those appointed to lead were just as disobedient and confused as the people they were supposed to be leading. And that is right where we are in America today. The majority of people, inside and outside of the church, are making no effort to seek the Lord and many of the preachers and pastors appointed to lead are not truly seeking the Lord either. And if they are not following the Lord, they are leading people astray. The political scene is no better as government leaders at all levels seem incapable of making positive progress on any of the major ills that beset our nation.
We keep trying all kinds of solutions, programs, and proposed remedies. But nothing in our families, our churches, or our nation will get better until we begin seeking the Lord once again.
James Montgomery wrote:
I left the God of truth and light,
I left the God who gave me breath,
To wander in the wilds of night,
And perish in the snares of death.
Sweet was His service, and His yoke
Was light and easy to be borne;
Through all His bonds of love I broke,
I cast away His gifts with scorn.
My suffering, slain, and risen Lord,
In sore distress I turn to Thee;
I claim acceptance on Thy word;
My God, my God, forsake not me.
Prostrate before the mercy seat,
I dare not, if I would, despair;
None ever perished at Thy feet,
And I will lie for ever there.
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.