Demonstrate Your Trust in God
Not in False stuff
Jeremiah 7:1-15 (NKJV)
What do you need today? Letís make a list: clean up your act; welcome Christ into your neighborhood; get smart; look deeper into Godís word for the truth you have lost.
All of the above can be found in Jeremiah 7. For the people of Judah, truth had disappeared. What took its place? False stuff. If we were to color a picture of this, all dark colors would be used. Dark colors for their false gods, fickle people, misplaced security, and unconfessed sins.
Picture with me Jeremiah giving a true or false test. The questions all relate to living by Godís standards. For every true answer they would write false; for every false answer-true. Needless to say, they failed the test.
Why? They didnít prepare for it. Jeremiah tried to tutor them, but they refused. Why? They refused to believe they would not get another chance to take the test over. Their destination was Babylon. Why? It was a result of misplaced trust, a hypocritical lifestyle and a failure to heed Jeremiahís warning. These we must avoid.
Avoid Misplace Trust (Vv. 1-4) Jeremiah is standing at the temple door. This message was to temple goers. Today it is to church goers. He warned about the consequences of evil ways and foolish confidence in a place instead of a personal God. ďDo not be fooled by those who promise safety because the temple is here.Ē (v.4)
In this word picture there are three truths for today. The first is to avoid placing your trust in a place and not a Person. I love the church, but being sentimental over church buildings or programs is the beginning of twisted trust leading to empty buildings and empty people.
The second truth for today is over goose bump addictions to charismatic preachers and Bible study leaders. We need to stop living vicariously through their walk with God. Be encouraged by them, but go beyond their experience to your own personal face-to-face beholding of Him.
Todayís third truth is over music madness in His house. To settle this madness see if you can hum this old tune, ďBringing in the sheaves. We shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves.Ē That, my church going friend, is one test for worthy worship. Does it bring others into Godís house and presence? Itís not about pleasing you and me. We are already home. Itís about worshiping God by bringing those outside the fold into His presence.
Reform Your Hypocritical Lifestyle (Vv.5-11) In order to reform, God gave a pattern. Itís similar to what we tell children about fire: Stop. Drop. Roll. Letís apply this pattern to Jeremiahís words about the degraded devotion of His people.
Stop (Vv.5, 6, 9) Stop your wicked thoughts and actions, being unfair, exploiting the weak and worshipping empty idols thus becoming empty yourselves. Sound familiar? We call it The Ten Commandments or the law pointing us to the need of His presence and forgiveness.
Drop (v. 7) Drop on our knees to receive His gift of mercy allowing us to remain in the land of His presence. Here we can hear Godís voice as being a picture of love stripping itself to clothe His wayward children.
Roll (Vv. 8, 10) Roll away from a false sense of security based on your going to the ďtempleĒ then going and doing any way you please. This is red-handed rebelling against Godís standards. He will hold us accountable.
Heed Warnings against Disobedience
(Vv.12-15) Jeremiah gives us three warnings: Warning One: Remember Shiloh. The temple in Northern Israel was located in Shiloh and had already been destroyed. The warning is for us not to use the church as a hideout for facing up to our sins.
Warning Two: Remember to Listen. It is not about our church-going image or belonging to a social group. Itís about the presence of God changing lives from a focus on self to focusing on right relationships with Him and others.
Warning Three: Remember who I Am. In v.15 He reminds us, ďIím the one in authority, not false religious leaders. Iím the One with the power to destroy. Yet, I long to go home with you after church.Ē
Today, we have no need to go to a place called Shiloh because of our sins. We can go to a place called Calvary for forgiveness of our sins.