Refusing to Listen to God’s Direction

American missionaries went to Japan after WWII and multitudes were coming forward to be saved but they seemed to lack genuine conviction. Decisions seemed to be superficial. They came to realize that in the Japanese culture they are taught that when you are conquered, you h … More

Superficial

Even the dead would not escape God’s judgment. Jeremiah describes how the enemy will desecrate the graves which was a common practice in the warfare of that day. The bones of those who had died before the fall of Jerusalem would be removed from their graves and exposed to the elements they had once worshiped (vv. 1-2). Those who survived the fall of Jerusalem would be banished, and their lives would be so terrible that they would prefer death to life (v 3). The people refused to acknowledge any wrong doing and pursued their own ways with determination like a horse charging into battle (vv. 4-6). Even the birds observe the time of migration, but Judah did not realize that it was time to return to her God. She had even less wisdom than a bird (v. 7). The question here poses a greater question: whose message will you believe, the scribes who lie and tell you what you want to hear or Jeremiah’s message of repentance (v. 8)? The “scribes” claimed to be the legitimate interpreters of some written portion of the Law.

The leaders of Judah boasted of their wisdom. They had the Law of God; they did not think they needed a prophet like Jeremiah. All the spiritual leaders were “greedy for gain.” They were not objective in the advice which they gave out (vv. 8-10). Jeremiah cited an example of the deceitful messages of the priests and prophets (vv. 11-12). The kingdom of Judah faced invasion, siege, exile, and political extinction. Jeremiah likened this fate to a disease which he called “the brokenness of the daughter of my people.” The spiritual leaders were attempting to “heal” this disease superficially.

Application

The people of Judah refused to listen to God’s direction. Are there some indicators that  I am heading the wrong way in some area of my life? What am I doing to get back on the right path?

Jeremiah 8:1-12 (English Standard Version)


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