Jeremiah is called “the weeping” prophet. He like Isaiah prophesied in a day of great turmoil and backsliding. A day in which both the governmental system and the religious system had become so corrupt that God was having to send judgment upon both. It was a day much like ours where money was god and the moral issues before the nation were overlooked. To make matters worse, they were telling the people everything would be alright…without repentance.
Jeremiah 6:13–15 (The Message)
13–15 “Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar, little people and big people alike. Prophets and priests and everyone in between twist words and doctor truth. My people are broken—shattered!—and they put on Band-Aids, Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’ But things are not ‘just fine’! Do you suppose they are embarrassed over this outrage? No, they have no shame. They don’t even know how to blush. There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom and there’s no getting up. As far as I’m concerned, they’re finished.” GOD has spoken.
The “almighty dollar” seems to rule today at every level. We tend to vote our pocketbooks over the principles of God. We make decisions in the church not out of obedience to God but rather based upon the bottom line for our budgets. We cast out the hard word of our modern-day Jeremiah’s for the soothing words of prophets who tell us its all going to be alright, no worries about your sin. No worries because of past abominations and treachery. Just leave those things all behind and expect a brighter day.
Jeremiah goes on to say…
Jeremiah 7:3–4 (NASB95)
3 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.
4 “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’
These are frightening words as God calls for repentance. We might paraphrase in application, don’t say we are the USA, the USA, the USA. God loves us and would never allow anything to happen to us. Don’t say, we are (insert the name of your church here) and God loves us and would never allow anything to happen to us. This is the hight of self-righteousness. This is the exposure of how blind we can be to our ways in the eyes of God.
My friend, I tremble in holy fear as I write this. I am an unashamed GRACE preacher. I believe in the unmerited favor of God over nations, churches and individuals. At the same time, I must ask the question, “Where is the fear of the Lord in these last days?” Grace does not allow for blatant sin to go on in a nation or a church unabated. Grace enables us the time to see our sin and gives us opportunity to repent so that we might not be severely disciplined as God’s people.
You may counter, that’s just Old Testament mixed with the New, which you shouldn’t do. Then read this from the New Testament:
Hebrews 10:26–31 (NASB95)
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.
28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.”
31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
…Today I choose to weep for the nation, its churches, and the people who are blinded by the soft words of those who do not speak the truth for the sake of righteousness.