No Substitute For a Pure Heat For God

Tim Hansel in his book “When I Relax I feel Guilty,” writes some insights of what most people want from God. “I would like to buy $3.00 worth of God, please. Not enough to disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshi … More

Priority

Beginning with verse 17, Jeremiah lists three separate pronouncements:

  1. God called for the professional mourners (wailing women) to lament for Jerusalem. “The “skillful wailing women” refers to women wise or skillful at mourning. Jeremiah urges these women to wail until tears come to the eyes of the people of Judah. This funeral preparation was over the death of the children and the young men who were killed when the Babylonians broke into the city (vv. 17-21).
  2. God pictured the severity of the massacre by Babylon. The dead bodies would resemble the cut grain left behind the reapers in the field and no one would be left behind to gather the harvest (v. 22).
  3. God did not expect the people to boast in their human wisdom or strength. Instead they were only to boast to the extent they understood and knew God. God would vindicate the innocent and punish the guilty (vv. 23-24).
Judgment is for all unbelievers in heart (vv. 25-26). Judah cannot rely on circumcision to protect her for this was practiced by other nations. There is no substitute for a pure heart for God (Rom. 2:25).

Application

People tend to admire human wisdom, strength, and riches. God puts a higher priority on knowing Him personally. What do I want people to admire most about me?

Jeremiah 9:17-26 (English Standard Version)

Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider, and call for the mourning women to come; send for the skillful women to come; let them make haste and raise a wailing over us, that our eyes may run down with tears and our eyelids flow with water. For a sound of wailing is heard from Zion: 'How we are ruined! We are utterly shamed, because we have left the land, because they have cast down our dwellings.'" Hear, O women, the word of the LORD, and let your ear receive the word of his mouth; teach to your daughters a lament, and each to her neighbor a dirge. For death has come up into our windows; it has entered our palaces, cutting off the children from the streets and the young men from the squares. Speak, "Thus declares the LORD: 'The dead bodies of men shall fall like dung upon the open field, like sheaves after the reaper, and none shall gather them.'" Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will punish all those who are circumcised merely in the flesh-- Egypt, Judah, Edom, the sons of Ammon, Moab, and all who dwell in the desert who cut the corners of their hair, for all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart."

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