Remembering Traditions

A student government officer at the University of San Francisco wrote to the University of California concerning the use of the honor system during exams and received this reply: “The University of California abandoned the honor system several years ago when it became … More

Refining

Jeremiah admonishes the people to remember the old traditions of faith and obedience. By returning to those ancient paths and walking in them they could find rest. They defiantly refuse (v. 16)! They actually showed a stubbornness and rejection of the law (vv. 16-19), as they gave false sacrifices (v. 20). God had done all He could to spare them of judgment. Yet, Judah rejected God’s law, thinking she could substitute rituals for obedience. Their elaborate burnt offerings, with incense imported from Sheba in southwest Arabia, were missing genuine love for God and did not please Him.

Because of their continued refusal to follow Him, God foretells of the desolation that will be coming. “I will lay stumbling blocks before this people” (v. 21). He will send the Babylonians :from the north” to bring destruction (v. 22). These people are very numerous “great nations” (v. 22), they are war-like. “They hold onto the  bow and spear” (v. 23), they are a barbarous  people, “cruel and have no mercy” (v. 23). They also “ride upon horses” (v. 23) which will make the battle come swiftly.

Jeremiah goes on to describe the responses of the people as they hear the news (vv. 24-30). There is anguish, fear, and weakness, like a woman in hard labor (v. 24). The people were afraid of leaving their cities because of a sword which would strike them down (v. 25). Instead they put on sackcloth, which was a dark, rough cloth worn at times of mourning (v. 26). The sadness experienced by the people was similar to that experienced by one who had lost “an only son” (v. 26). It were as if God appointed Jeremiah as a tester of precious metals and the people of Judah were the ore (vv. 27-30). When God turned on the furnace, it revealed the people as dross to be thrown away.

Application

As I look at my life do I see any impurities that should be burned away?  Lord help me to recognize them and confess them to you and allow You to purify my life. Thank You Lord!!!!!!!

Jeremiah 6:16-30 (English Standard Version)

Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not pay attention.' Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what will happen to them. Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people, the fruit of their devices, because they have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba, or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me. Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will lay before this people stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble; fathers and sons together, neighbor and friend shall perish.'" Thus says the LORD: "Behold, a people is coming from the north country, a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth. They lay hold on bow and javelin; they are cruel and have no mercy; the sound of them is like the roaring sea; they ride on horses, set in array as a man for battle, against you, O daughter of Zion!" We have heard the report of it; our hands fall helpless; anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in labor. Go not out into the field, nor walk on the road, for the enemy has a sword; terror is on every side. O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth, and roll in ashes; make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come upon us. "I have made you a tester of metals among my people, that you may know and test their ways. They are all stubbornly rebellious, going about with slanders; they are bronze and iron; all of them act corruptly. The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed by the fire; in vain the refining goes on, for the wicked are not removed. Rejected silver they are called, for the LORD has rejected them."

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