W. Austin Gardner
What is written on your heart?
Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
The book of Jeremiah is the story of the death of a nation
The infection of evil has spread all across the land
The kingdom will soon be invaded and overthrown
This has been a long drawn out process
Jeremiah preaches for 40 years while God patiently waits
Things are getting worse and worse in spite of Jeremiah’s clear preaching of the Word of God
We watch much of the same happening in our world
We learn from Jeremiah how to deal with a world and people that hate God
Realize that time is short I Corinthians 7:29 But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.
Jeremiah is not to take a wife Jeremiah 16:1 The word of the Lord came also unto me, saying, 2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.
God was actually being kind to Jeremiah warning him of the future
Horrible death was coming Jeremiah 16:4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.
Jeremiah was not to mourn with those that suffered or go go funerals Jeremiah 16:5 For thus saith the Lord, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the Lord, even lovingkindness and mercies. 6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:
Judgment is coming very soon
It is better for Jeremiah to suffer without than to lose them so horribly
God has taken His peace, lovingkindness, and mercies away from His wicked people
The people do not deserve comfort because they are suffering due to their sin
They chose the consequences and no need for the preacher to try to make it look like something else
Jeremiah wasn’t to celebrate, go to weddings, parties, new births Jeremiah 16:8 Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink. 9 For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.
There is no time for the normal aspects of life
No time for playing games
Judgment is so close and all will be lost
Can you imagine when people ask Jeremiah why he wasn’t married, why do you not go to parties, weddings, funerals. He says that he knows that judgment is coming. All are going to suffer and die
Judgment is coming very soon
People are shocked to hear Jeremiah talk about God judging them Jeremiah 16:10 And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?
Because you walked away from God to serve other gods Jeremiah 16:11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the Lord, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
Your fathers taught you sin but you have perfected it Jeremiah 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:
Instead of doing what God says they dream up their own religion and decisions
There are consequences to their sin Jeremiah 16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.
Somehow they had developed a theology that allowed for their sin
They believed they were alright
They could not believe that God would punish them
They had adjusted their truth to be comfortable with their sin
There is hope after the punishment Jeremiah 16:14 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; 15 But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.
In the middle of the threats and warnings God tells them that He will bring them back
Like He brought them from Egypt He will bring them from all the other lands
When you do wrong you suffer Jeremiah 16:17 For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes. 18 And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.
But God will reestablish you after if you will humble yourself before Him
How are you handling what God is doing in your life
God will finally get His people to where He can use them to share the truth Jeremiah 16:19 O Lord, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? 21 Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The Lord.
God will bring His people out of captivity
He will cause them to get right
He will eventually use them for His purpose
The pagans will come to the God of Israel realizing that all their false gods were nothing
God still has plans for Israel
It will take the utter collapse and total destruction of all that they trust in
That is what God does, brings people to the end of themselves
When they are finally bankrupt they realize they need God
They can see God, His power, His love, His grace
Sin has become an ingrained part of them Jeremiah 17:1 The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars;
Their sin is so much a part of them that only harsh judgment will make them repent and turn back to God
This sin ran through the political system, the school system, personal lives, and homes
It was indelibly written on their hearts
God curses those that do not trust in Him Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.
God blesses those that trust Him Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
Those that trust God prosper under all circumstances
They are drawing their strength from God and His grace Jeremiah 17:8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Only God truly knows your heart Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
We can talk ourselves into believing anything we want
We make excuses for our sin
We believe ourselves to be more right than we are
But God knows our true heart and emotion Jeremiah 17:10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
We trust in ourselves and our money like the foolish bird
The truth of the sabbath day was that it was about trusting God and not their money or their effort
They would not work and yet God would provide
They would worship and God would bless
It was not what they could do but what God could do
Are we more concerned about this world or the next world
Is the Word of God written on our hearts so that we seek God more than anything on this earth
Do we believe that God is truly at work in our world
This is our New Testament attitude Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.