In Jeremiah 6 to 9, God makes it abundantly clear why judgment is about to rain down on Israel. And this comes in our study at a moment when we are wondering whether judgment could be coming down on America and the church of Jesus as well.
Jeremiah makes us see that it was the abject, idolatrous disobedience and disunity from God in the face of massive temptation that turned the heart of every single Israelite away from God.
So by comparison with all Christians and all Americans, could God accuse that we:
- Are greedy and deal dishonestly (6:13)?
- Act as if all is well when there is no peace (6:14)?
- Are not ashamed and do not know how to blush when we commit abominations (6:15)?
- Are stubbornly rebellious, slanderous, corrupt (6:28)?
- Trust in deceptive words designed to soothe rather than inconvenient truth (7:8)?
- Steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, and go after other gods (7:9)?
- Declare our absolution from sin and then continue committing abominations (7:10)?
- Intentionally mock God as powerless to stop disasters (7:18)?
- Do not always listen for God or to God (7:26)?
- Ignore the call of God through his servants (7:27)?
- Build places to worship other gods (7:31)?
- Perpetually backslide, harbor deceit, and refuse to repent (8:5)?
- Do not even know the rules of the Lord (8:7)?
- Wield a lying pen to turn the law of the Lord into lies (8:8)?
- Are without true wisdom (8:9)?
- Have abused what God gave us such that it has passed away from us (8:13)?
- Looked for peace yet no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror (8:15)?
- Let falsehood grow strong in the land; proceed from evil to evil; do not know the Lord (9:3)?
- Deceive neighbors with lies; weary ourselves committing sin (9:5)?
- Heap oppression upon oppression (9:6)?
- Stubbornly follow own hearts and pursued other gods (9:14)?
I suggest that it is time to take this personally.
Over and over, Jeremiah states God’s case beginning with: “The word of the Lord came to me saying…”
The word of the Lord has come to you and me as well, not only through the prophets of old, but the words of Jesus himself. We are in disunity until we rise to a common level of perfect unity by proclaiming the truth of God consistently and loudly, not to judge others, but to lead them to understand the never-ending love of God, the desperate need for repentance, and the passionate truth of restoration to perfect unity that Jesus came to offer.
Can we find that common higher ground? It is not too late, but please go back and look at 8:13 again. While our individual salvation is never in question, has our blessing as a unified church and nation “passed away from us?”
Let us start here – together, by proclaiming not what God hates, but what absolutely delights him:
“Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight…” (9:23-24)!