Friday, June 12, 2015

The Result Of Their Own Choices

Jeremiah 2:1-21

“Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.  Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 2:1-3)

When God led Israel out of Egypt, they were not hesitant at all about committing to keep the Law and serve him completely, much like a bride committing to her husband.  Anyone who in any denigrated him would make them very angry. 
“Hear ye the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the LORD, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?  Neither said they, Where is the LORD that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?

And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.  The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.” (Jeremiah 2:4-8)

Like a husband whose wife decides to leave him, God asks what he has done wrong that Israel is looking for so another God.  Why don’t they appreciate what he has done in setting them free from Egypt and caring for them through the years in the wilderness?  The nice home they have lived in and the abundant food he has provided means nothing to them.  They don’t even care enough to ask where he is or to get to know him.  Even the priests and pastors who claim to be so close to him ignore his requests and despise his opinions acting on the advice of other gods, rather than His.   

“Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the LORD, and with your children's children will I plead.  For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing.  Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.  Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” (Jeremiah 2:9-13)

God seeks reconciliation with then but if they will not listen he will try to make peace with their grandchildren.  Other nations remain faithful to their gods even though they are only carved figures having no power, but Israel has forsaken the God who has done everything for them, trading him for the idols of others.  It is like they have refused to use the spring that supplied their very drinking water and blocked it off, choosing to catch the rain water from the roof instead, but not taking the time to be sure the rain barrel they were using would hold water. 

“Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?  The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant.  Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head.  Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, when he led thee by the way?

And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?  Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.” (Jeremiah 2:14-19)

Israel’s people were not slaves forced to do their masters will, they had just run away in panic when they heard a young, inexperienced lion roar, leaving the land open to be conquered.  They had called on the Egyptians to come to their aid against the Assyrians and when the Egyptians took advantage of them and when they called for the Assyrians against the Egyptians, the Assyrians did the same thing.  It was their determination to trust the other nations instead of god that had gotten them into the mess they were in.   They need to back off and see how wicked and foolish their decisions have been. 

“For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands; and thou saidst, I will not transgress; when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot.  Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” (Jeremiah 2:20-21)

Time after time god had delivered Israel and Judah from captivity and they promised to be faithful to him.  Many times they continued to worship those other gods even while they were making the promises like an unfaithful husband or wife who continues to see their paramour even while promising to be faithful to their mate.  God has done and given so much for them, how could they give it all up for such a degenerate and hopeless lifestyle?

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