JEREMIAH 7:8-11: “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 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? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Beware of the “Feel Good” deception! What is this? It is the deceptive words of peace and hope that give false comfort to unrepentant hearts. It is the voice that says – “God is for us”, when we are walking openly in opposition to the Word of God. It is the message of prosperity without the cross, peace without sacrifice, salvation without true repentance. This message of “pop-psychology” is nothing new. It is the exact same message that Jeremiah faced as these verses were penned under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
The nation of Judah had seen the 10 Tribes of Israel fall to the hands of the Assyrians because of their wickedness and sin. Yet, they did not repent of their own wickedness and idolatry. Why? Because they had the Temple of the Lord. Surely God would not judge them, He would not destroy His own house of worship.
- “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. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 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, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.” Jeremiah 7:3-7 ESV
The Lord made it clear to Judah – amend your ways or face judgment. To cry out “The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord”, as if this would magically keep them from judgment was futile. They were deceptive words, destructive words, “Feel Good” words. Without true repentance – judgment was imminent.
Is there any modern day application to this Biblical account? Today many in America think that judgment could never come to the Red, White and Blue. People gather in churches every Sunday to sing songs and to hear sermons. Then, walking out of the doors of the church and proceed to live the same way, do the same things, without a lasting change. This is not true of every church. However, if it was not true of a large number of churches we would be experiencing a dramatic change in our culture. Instead, we watch as our culture, and the things we once held sacred, slowly die and are replaced with unspeakable practices and beliefs.
The church of America has watched the churches in Europe lose their influence on culture. Much like Judah watched the judgment of Israel, we have watched the rapid decline of Evangelical Christianity in the Western World. And for all that, we continue to line up for the next book promising us blessing, blessing, blessing – while dismissing the prophets who call us to rend our hearts and turn back toward the Lord. And also like Judah, when we face any type of judgment, we do not repent, we look for political solutions or a candidate that will save the day.
All is not lost, all is not hopeless! We need to once again hear the Word of the Lord:
- “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. Do not trust in these deceptive words…”
Let us turn away from empty words and to the Living Word of God. Let us amend our deeds and turn to the Lord. Let us turn away from even the “…garment defiled by the flesh” (Jude 1:23), from even the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22, KJV). God is more interested in our holiness than in our comfort. No one is perfect, but all are called to live a life of repentance toward God. It is the broken and contrite heart that God receives. Lord, create in me a clean heart, and renew in me a right spirit.
- “For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10-12 ESV
This morning I turn to You in sincere repentance! Bring true revival to Your Church in American and throughout the world!
In Jesus Name!