God had a problem with those in Jeremiah’s time. Even their leaders were giving people a false assurance about their relationships with God and the sinfulness of their behavior. And when the Prophet and others tried to speak the truth, it was a reproach to them.
Many today are more concerned about being politically correct and not offending anyone than with speaking the truth. While we are to speak the truth in love, we are still to speak the truth, even when it’s uncomfortable or unpopular.
Sadly, even many of our leaders have compromised the truth. While we can’t fully understand all the motives, it seems that selling books and filling their churches is more important. Even whole denominations have twisted truths about God’s love made them half-truths.
And from our New Testament reading, how did the Apostle Paul pray and do you pray like he prayed? Could his prayers become a model for your own?
Jeremiah 5 & 6
When the Truth Becomes a Reproach
Jeremiah 5 & 6:
“Though they say, ‘As the LORD lives,’ surely they swear falsely” (Jer. 5.2).
Sadly, there are many people who attend church, may even be involved in ministry, and who say all the right things. Their conversation is peppered with “praise the Lord” and other “Christian-ese,” but they swear falsely.
When they toss around God’s name merely to look spiritual, they are, actually, using the Lord’s name in vain. And “… are foolish for they do not know the way of the Lord …” (5.4). Jesus said it this way;
“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matt. 15.8).
May God help us to avoid that kind of hypocrisy in our own lives.
God’s Truth is a Reproach to Them
The last two verses of chapter 5:
30 “An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?
And in chapter 6, Jeremiah said:
10 To whom shall I speak and give warning,
That they may hear?
Indeed their ear is uncircumcised,
And they cannot give heed.
Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them;
They have no delight in it. (6.10)
What a picture of our world! Just watch those who are “pro-choice” or “gay activists” on a talk show with a Christian. Or try to have a discussion with someone who supports policy which is in opposition to God’s Word. Their “ears” seem unable to even understand what you are saying. They are blind to the truths of God’s Word. In fact, “the Word of the Lord is a reproach to them”!
And to make it worse …
“Peace, Peace” When There Is No Peace
Those who should be calling us back to repentance are not.
13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is given to covetousness;
And from the prophet even to the priest,
Everyone deals falsely. (6.13)
In Jeremiah’s day even the priests and prophets were corrupt and no longer able to understand or hear the voice of God.
They were “given to covetousness …” Money isn’t the only thing to be coveted. Today many so-called religious leaders covet fame or popularity, invitations to talk shows and public events, selling books and filling their churches, more than the truths of God.
I am not saying that appearing on TV or having a big church or writing a best-selling book is wrong. But we shouldn’t downplay the clear commands of Scripture or teach less than the full council of God, to achieve that end.
And what about pastors and even whole denominations who say “God loves everyone and if you’re gay, it’s because God made you that way.” They take a truth that God loved the world enough to send His Son to die for our sins (Jn. 3.16) and turn it into a half-truth, by forgetting that He also rose from the dead so that we, too, could have “newness of life” (Rom. 6.4) and not remain in our sin!
14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’
When there is no peace. (6.13-14)
Paul warned the Corinthians and all believers: Continue reading