W. Austin Gardner
Don’t abuse the Grace of God
Jeremiah 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
What God told them in the beginning
It was never about the sacrifice but the obedience
He didn’t tell them all this about their offerings and sacrifices Jeremiah 7:22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
He did give them commandments and tell them to obey Him Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
To obey is better than sacrifice I Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.
The people made a big deal about their sacrifices and worship and little about obedience
God gave the commandments with promise II Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Notice the promises here in Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
He would be there God
They would be His people
It would go well for them
God’s people rejected the promises and did their own thing Jeremiah 7:24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
They didn’t listen
They figured out what they wanted to do
They got further from pleasing God not closer
Do you consider what He thinks about what is going on in your life and family
Are you listening to the Word of God
God had wanted them to express their love for Him John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
If we love Him we want to do what is acceptable and pleasing to Him Ephesians 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
We want Him to be pleased with us Colossians 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Are you expressing your love for your Lord and Savior
God sent preachers to remind them of His truth Jeremiah 7:25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
It is not God’s fault that they are not obeying. He has continued to call them to Himself
They refuse to listen but instead rose up in pride Jeremiah 7:26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
The preachers were warned that they would be ignored Jeremiah 7:27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
Their disobedience would cause them to lose the truth Jeremiah 7:28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
You can refuse the Lord and His truth till He refuses to work in your life Jeremiah 7:29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. 30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
Their sins had grown increasing worse
They had walked after other gods Jeremiah 7:6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
They took advantage of others
They showed no respect for human life
Walked after other gods
All this caused suffering that would only increase
There is always consequences to our sin and selfishness
They began to enjoy false preaching Jeremiah 7:8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
Bad preaching led to bad living Jeremiah 7:9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
They were grossly abusing God’s grace Jeremiah 7:10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
They had the audacity to feel like grace gave them a license to do what God saw as wicked
They were free and could as they pleased
Are you abusing grace because you claim freedom from legalism
They seemed to want to anger God Jeremiah 7:17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
They were so wicked that they were sacrificing their children Jeremiah 7:31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
It never wanted or even thought of such wickedness
Do we sacrifice our children on the altar of success, society, sports, and self?
Who were they really hurting
God was going to abandon them like He had done to Shiloh Jeremiah 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. 12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
God had used Shiloh to work among His people till Eli and his sons sinned so grossly
Since then God had allowed Shiloh to be destroyed and never used as His center of leadership and work again
God could remove the candlestick, quit working in and through this place
This would happen because they refused to respond when He spoke Jeremiah 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
God would stop using them Jeremiah 7:14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
They were so far gone that it was a waste to pray for them Jeremiah 7:16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
They thought to hurt God but they really hurt themselves Jeremiah 7:19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
Their people and nation was going to be destroyed Jeremiah 7:33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
Joy would be gone from the city Jeremiah 7:34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
Their history will be destroyed Jeremiah 8:1 At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth.
People will prefer to die Jeremiah 8:3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of hosts.
Their sin hurt them far more than it hurt God
Time to get right with God
Getting right starts with paying attention to and obeying the Word of God Jeremiah 7:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.
They needed to change the way they were living Jeremiah 7:3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
They were to begin believing truth and not lies Jeremiah 7:4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.
Change of attitude as well as actions Jeremiah 7:5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
They would begin to experience His blessings if they would get right Jeremiah 7:7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.