Donít do it. Donít you dare do it! Donít teach or study this lesson, ďGuarding Against Sin,Ē found in Jeremiah 5 without searching Godís word to find your sins. When we guard against sin, we guard against anything God hates because it separates us from a loving relationship with Him.
Jeremiah called hypocrisy, adultery, and complacency sin because they separated the people from Godís loving watch care.
These same people never made the connection between their sinfulness and the loss of Godís blessings. Yet, through the prophet Jeremiah God said, ďYour iniquities have turned these blessings away, and your sins have kept my good harvest from you.Ē (v.25)
Through the pleading voice of Jeremiah in chapter 5 we are put into the guarding business of protecting, sheltering, and shielding our treasure. The treasure is the power and presence of God in our lives. Here lies the sin of Judah: the denial of His presence and power; the indifference to sinís consequences; the contempt for His prophets. Simply put, no time for God. No time to guard this priceless privilege of knowing Him. Letís see how we can do this through the following verses.
Protect your treasure from hypocrisy. (Vv. 1-5) In these verses, Jeremiah is telling us what happens when we disregard oneness with God and His ways by playing the role of a hypocrite. You see, a hypocrite is one who consciously plays two parts for his own double-dealing end. Judah was filled with hypocrites. As Jeremiah jogged through Jerusalem, he was looking for just one honest, sincere soul to bargain with so God would drive Babylon from the gates.
He could find no one among the poor or foolish ranks or among the leaders of the land. All had taken the bait and gotten hooked, refusing to repent. They refused to guard themselves from walking away from an intimate love relationship with Jehovah God.
There was no need for a treasure hunt to take place for the treasure (Godís power and presence) was not hidden. Neither did God turn off or turn down the spout of His love and forgiveness. They simply wandered away from the flow because there was no guarding from sin and its consequences. If Jeremiah jogged through our neighborhoods today would he find us among the hypocrites or among the faithful?
Shelter your treasure from adultery. (Vv. 9-9) In these verses, strong warnings were given against expecting Godís blessings while the people were involved with spiritual idolatry and the social sin of adultery. Unashamedly, the people patronized the prostitutes. Even today, spiritual idolatry always opens the door to immorality.
Because the people worshipped false gods in the Lordís land, they had to serve foreign masters in a foreign land. The root cause was their idolatry and immoral living.
May we as a nation reflect upon our immoral conduct that has been the result of much of our crime and diseases. May we not repeat the sin of Judah. We join them in their sins by the denial of His presence and power in our lives; our indifference to the consequences of sin; and our contempt for His spokespersons.
Shield you treasure from complacency. (Vv.11-12) Again on his journey through Jerusalem, Jeremiah searched for just one man who did not call him a liar or one who acknowledged Godís voice of warning through the prophet.
With the voice of arrogant complacency the people bragged, ďNothing bad will happen to us: not famine, not war. No harm whatsoever will come because of our actions. Because of our covenant relationship, God will overlook our sin.Ē This was a useless way to deal with their sin.
Today there are many other useless ways to deal with this sin of complacency. We can bury it; play the blame game; take a drink; pop a pill. None of this works, but God and His word has some radical good news for us.
The good news for us today is all our sins and Godís Son met at a place called Calvary. Because of this meeting, Jesus can speak to you and me, ďBe of good cheer; I have overcome the world.Ē John 16:33
If I understand this correctly it means we, who are ďin Christ JesusĒ, have no excuse to not protect our treasure from hypocrisy, adultery, and complacency.