“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” ~ Jeremiah 5:30-31
Throughout this passage God is pronouncing his judgment against Israel and Judah for abandoning Him. They have embraced the gods of foreign lands. They are living the proverbial “good life” as they turned their collective backs on God. Not only have they rejected God’s way of living, they have rejected His sovereignty. God is clearly angered by their sin. As a consequence for their sins, God promises to raise up an army from a foreign land to overtake Judah and Israel; they will destroy them, but not completely.
As I read Jeremiah, I continue to see many parallels between Israel at the time of Jeremiah and the United States today. We are a blessed nation that has turned from God. Our society rejects Christ as it embraces various false understandings of God. Those who follow such false religions are often lauded as full of wisdom in our society. Open-mindedness is a religion unto itself as it celebrates so-called progressive thought and false teachings. Indeed, we are a nation that embraces such modern-day “foreign gods” as we reject the True God and look down on those who stand firmly upon God’s Holy Word.
Even the American Christian church-at-large is guilty of seeking after false gods. The Episcopalian church, for example, has developed a rite of union for gay couples (see http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/12/03/liturgy-for-blessing-same-gender-relationships-begins-provisional-use/). Many believers have embraced the notion of “universal salvation” rather than stand firmly on the teachings of Scripture that Jesus is the only means of salvation (see John 14:6). Many churches today refuse to read and study the Old Testament, claiming it has no relevance in a “New Testament world”. When the church cherry-picks the Scriptures it will preach and teach while rejecting the rest, the church is acting under its own authority rather than God’s, just as God said it would in the passage above. And when it sets out down that deceitful path, it’s no wonder that many believers are led astray by the very people God has entrusted with the Truth. Yes, even in the church, we reject God’s ways of living for philosophies and lifestyles based on prevailing thought or human wisdom. May God have mercy upon us.
God says in chapter five “If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city” (5:1b). The fact is, that person does not exist – not then and not today. There is, however, one Person who fits this description. He is Truth Himself: our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I shudder at the depravity of modern-day living I rejoice at the reality of God’s mercy shown through His Son. God is angered by sin, and the consequences of sin are clear. But even in His anger He offers reconciliation and redemption through Jesus. Let us confess our sins to Him and seek the forgiveness God so freely offers through His Son. And upon doing so, let us reject society’s false gods and stand firmly upon God’s Holy Word – all of it.
Ponder this: Are there teachings in God’s Word that I have set aside in exchange for human wisdom?
My prayer for today: Heavenly Father, the enemy is active among us as he seeks to distract and deceive us. Forgive me, Lord, for the times I have rejected Your Truth and instead placed my confidence in human wisdom. Help me to seek You, and only You, as I live out my time on Earth. And as I do so, help me, Lord, to always speak Your truth in Christian love. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.