This chapter reveals a startling truth. It tells us that it is possible for us to go to the meetings regularly, vs 1,2,4,10,25; and even offer sacrifices and offerings, vs 21, and so imagine that God is pleased with us!
However, while we are busy with all these religious activities, God sees us lying, vs 4, 8; not giving justice between a man and his neighbour, vs 5, oppressing the stranger, fatherless and the widow, shedding innocent blood, worshipping idols, vs 6, murdering, stealing, committing adultery and swearing falsely, vs 9, and thus making God’s house a den of robbers, vs 11!
God warns us through the prophet Jeremiah that such repeated unrepentant behaviour would invariably attract the judgment of God as can be seen from Israel’s past history as was done in Shiloh, vs 12-15,20,32-34!
And although God pleads with them, through the prophet Jeremiah to mend their ways, vs 3,5, so that they could dwell in the land forever, vs 7, yet God feels sure that they have no desire to do so, and so God tells Jeremiah to stop interceding for them too, vs 16! What angers Him the most is to find entire familes involved in the worship of idols, particularly the one they call ‘the queen of heaven’, 17-19! Therefore, God is bent on destroying them at the hands of the enemy, for although He insisted that they obey His Word, they seemed to do everything else but obey Him, vs 23-30!
Further, they even went so far as to offer their children as burnt offerings, and such a thing had not even entered God’s mind to command, 31! God makes it very clear, both to them and us, that for Him, obedience to His Word is far more important that offering sacrificial offerings, vs 22. What should our response be? Do we think that we are any better than them?
No, I think not! So, it is time for us too, to ask God to search us and know our hearts and to try us and know our thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting, Psalm 139:23,24!
As we humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, we will avoid destruction and eat the best of God’s kingdom, which is peace, joy and righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Amen.