Jeremiah 7:1, 2
- Read verses 1,2…¶ The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
- Some may read this and say… “This is talking about Jeremiah and the old testament children of God and it does not apply to us today.”
- I believe the same God that thought that way in the old testament still thinks the same way today. Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;
- Now note the words… “the gate” This is talking about the east gate(The gate of the court of Israel), which was the public place of going out and coming in, and where the people wanted to assemble and visit and discuss business, and etc.
- Three times a year the men were required by God to go to the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts (Deut.16:16). This may have been one of those times. The prophet Jeremiah stood at the gates preaching to the people there.
- What did Jeremiah preach? A four point outline.
- Your worship is no good.. 1-15
- Your prayers are no good…verses 16-20
- Your sacrifices are no good…verses21-26
- God’s discipline and correction does you no good…verses 27, ch.8:1-3
- I see our church acting just like this church that Jeremiah is preaching to.
I. Your Worship Is No Good
A) Amend your ways and your doings
- Read verse 3… “
- The word “amend” means to change. “Change what?”
- Your “ways”…course or path you are on, motion, movement.
- Your “doings”…your actions.
- What were they doing wrong? They were coming to worship the Lord.
- We need to remember that God doesn’t focus on our actions only, but he focuses on the reason why our actions. God looks at the heart, not the appearances.
- According to Jeremiah 7:6,9… they were guilty of breaking at least 5 commandments.
B) If we change our ways
- Note verse 3b..and I will cause you to dwell in this place.
- In other words…I will allow you to stay here, and worship here, and bless you.
- How many here love your church?
- How many of you wish to worship here?
- How many here want to be blessed of God?
- Then change your ways!
C) The “Temple Of The Lord”
- Read verse 4… Trust ye not in lying words,
- What are “lying words?” These are words that are not true, words that ruin people, words that hurt people, and words that make the user look bad.
- Why did Jeremiah express the term “The Temple of the Lord” three times? The number three means perfection. The people of the church need to be perfecting themselves (Becoming better, or continue to improve) to keep the temple to serve in.
- At this time the people of Judah were listening to false prophets, lies of those who knew not the Lord, and also listening to the gossip of the churches.
- Just like today… People have the wrong idea of “The purpose for the church.”
- The convictions which the people had,
- They would be safe from the wrath of God as long as they came to church.
- They figured that God would not let the church be ruined or destroyed.
- But sacred places (Like the church) and sacred symbols (like the partaking of the Lords supper)are nothing in the sight of God when the heart is not right with him.
D) I want to expound on “lying words” or just “words”
- Lying words are …words that are not true.
- They are words that you say when you really don’t know the truth for what you are talking about.
- Let us turn to Matthew 15…Read verses 10,11…
- Note what Jesus said in verse 11… Not that which goeth into the mouth (food, drink) defileth(corrupts,brings dishonor) a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, (words)this defileth a man.
- It is our words that ruin other people, and also ruin ourselves.
- To further understand this story here… The scribes and Pharisees were coming to Jesus because the disciples were talking bad about the traditions of the elders (What they were doing in their church) Then Jesus turned around and accused the elders also of not following God’s commandments.
- Now read verse 12-14…
- In verse 12… the disciples were afraid that someone was going to get offended by the strict teachings of Jesus.
- Now look at verse 13… Every plant,(every church, organization, or person) which my heavenly Father hath not planted,(That is not a work of God) shall be rooted up.(shall fall or be destroyed)
- 14) Let them alone: (Leave them alone, do not gossip about it, or criticize it, or try to do something about it ) they be blind leaders of the blind. (They are people that do not know what they are talking about and are leading people that know not the truth when they see it) And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. (If the people allow this leader to lead them without saying anything about their leading, then the whole group will fall or be destroyed.
- Now jump down and look at verse 18… But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
- What comes out of our mouth shows God and others what is in our heart.
- And remember that when we stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ to be Judged by Jesus Christ …He will judge us according to our heart!
E) Are we a hypocrite?
- In Matthew 15 now lets go back up and read verse 7-9 … Ye hypocrites,
- Why are they called hypocrites?
- Verse 8 tells us … This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; (These people act like they are close to me with their prayers and worship and their talking like a Christian)
- “…but their heart is far from me.(But they are really not because I judge them from the heart and notice what comes out their mouth.)
- 9) But in vain they do worship me, (Their worship is not true worship, and therefore I reject it) teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.( the requirements of religion–things to be believed and practiced in religion. God only has the right to declare what shall be done in his service;
- Who are we to say that a person is not doing what God says?
- Let God be the judge…Not us. WHAT IS OUR WORSHIP?
F) Thoroughly amend your ways
- Read verses 5-7…
- What does “throughly amend your ways” mean?
- Throughly- into and beyond, in every part of something, all the way through, from beginning to end.
- Amend- to change for the better.
- Jeremiah is telling the people here to get your heart, soul, mind, body, actions, etc. right with God.
- What does “throughly execute judgment” mean?
- Throughly- into and beyond, in every part of something, all the way through, from beginning to end.
- Execute- to finish and complete, to make sure it is finished.
- Jeremiah is again telling them to not judge others (our neighbor) until we are absolutely , positively, carrying much proof of them and their actions.
G) Oppress not, shed not, and walk not
- In verse 6… Jeremiah is preaching on these things (lie not oppress not, shed not, and walk not)because the people are guilty of doing the same things that he is preaching about!
- Jeremiah preaches “oppress not” who? (strangers, children with no father, and widows).
- What does “oppress” mean? To burden, weigh down, to be much strict.
- When Jesus Christ judges us at the “Judgment Seat of Christ” he will judge us according to our knowledge, and convictions given to us.
- When we see a stranger, a fatherless child, and widow, we must be careful how we judge them. We have no idea what they have been through.
- What does Jeremiah mean by…“shed not innocent blood in this place”?
- He means to kill some one for no reason. Some believe that this is talking about killing animals also for no reason. This is a good possibility.
- Then we come to “walk not after other gods.” Why?
- Because over and over again God had told the Jews… “I am the Lord your God” and then God gave Moses the 10 Commandments for which the 1 commandment is ….”Thou shalt have no other gods before me”
- “gods” are anything that we put first in our lives. (T.V., work, play, habits, clubs, organizations, friends, sleep, eating, working out or body building, shopping etc.)
II. Your Prayers Are No Good
A) They are guilty of…
- Read Jeremiah 7:8-10…
- Trusting in lying words, (vrs.8) Believing in unproven statements.
- Stealing (vrs. 9) (stealing from others and tithes from God)
- Murder (vrs. 9)
- Adultery (unfaithful to spouse) (vrs 9)
- Swear falsely (vrs.9)
- Burning incense to Baal (vrs.9)
- Walking after gods that they did not know. (vrs.9)
- The problem here was the fact that they were “hypocrites” They lived a life of sin and then came to the church to become holy and then go right back out of the church to sin again. This is not “True Worship” it is “False Worship.”
- In verse 10… note that it says…“we are delivered” Delivered from what?
- From anything bad happening to us. No matter what Jeremiah preaches, we have nothing to fear; Because we have offered our sacrifices, and therefore Jehovah will “deliver” us.
- This is exactly the problem we have today in all the churches across this great country. NO TRUE REPENTANCE of GOD’S PEOPLE!
B) Is this house, my place, and the place…
- Now read verse 11…
- IS IT A DEN OF ROBBERS ? Thieves or robbers hide in holes, caves and things thinking that they are hid and safe. The same as Christians who come to church thinking they are safe within the holiness of “this place.” and that God cannot see your wickedness
- Matthew 21:13….And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
C) God gives them an example
- Now read verse 12… But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh,
- Jeremiah is telling the people to go to Shiloh and see what God did to the church there… The people in Shiloh were depending on the temple to take care of them because that is where the ark was for 300 years. After that it was taken, the priests slain, and the people were thrown into confusion and upset. (I Sam 4:11; Jer. 26:6.)
- Now look at verse 13...And now, because ye have done all these works, (What works? All mentioned in verses 8,9) saith the LORD, and (Now God is adding two more of the sins they are guilty of)… #1. I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; #2. and I called you, but ye answered not;
- God spoke to them (through conviction, or a prophet, teacher, preacher or His word) and they didn’t pay attention to it. It went in one ear and out the other!
- God called them (let them know what His will was in their life) and they did nothing about it!
- It was like they were at home, the phone rang, they looked at caller I.D. And then refused to answer it because they knew who it was and what they wanted.
- Look my deaf friends… If God is calling you to be a bus driver, a teacher, a song leader, a church clerk, or whatever…ANSWER THE CALL OF GOD!
D) God’s Judgment
- Read verses 14-16…
- God said that He was going to “do unto this house” (the house of prayer in Judah) and to the place (the land where they were living, Canaan) that He had done to Shiloh.
- I will cast you out of my sight– doesn’t want to look at you.
- I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.– I will send you into captivity as I have done Ephraim, that is, the ten tribes.
- I will not hear thee.– God will not hear their prayers or cry for help.
- E) Do you see what is going on?
- Now read verses 17-20…
- Note verse 17a…Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
- God is speaking to the people through Jeremiah.. “Do you see what is going on?”
- In verse 18…Jeremiah explains that the children, the father, and mother all are working to please other gods.
- And because of that God’s anger will poured out upon “this place.”
- It will affect…all mankind, their animals, their trees (which is used for shade, and building things) and food, because it will be so hot all the time that they will not be able to water it enough to let it grow properly. There may even be a drought!
- If there is anything at all that we need to realize about God that is so important… remember this… God will not accept false worship!
“False Worship Review”
Your Worship was no good (1-7)
- a) Change your ways and your doings
- b) Trust not in lying words
- c) Are we hypocrite? Do you go to church and act Holy then go home and act like Satan?
- d) Thoroughly amend your ways
- e) Oppress not, shed not, walk not (Oppress not the widows, children and others, Shed not innocent blood, Walk not after other gods)
Your Prayers were no good (vrs. 8-20)
- a) Christ told the money changers in Matthew that His house (the Church) is a “house of Prayer” and you have made it a “den of thieves”
- b) God’s Judgment upon those who do not listen to Him.
- c) Finally, Jeremiah asks them…”Do you see what is going on?
Now we come to our study for today..
III. Your Sacrifices Are No Good
A) They are not from the heart
- Read Jeremiah 7: 21-26…
- Note verse 21…. According to Mosaic law (The law of Moses) the burnt-offerings were to be wholly consumed on the altar; but the peace-offerings were only half way burned. Then what was left over from the offering, was celebrated by having a feast with their friends.
- Here they are told to eat their burnt-offerings with their peace-offerings, for Jehovah will not accept them.
- God wants offerings (worship) that is from the heart and according to God’s law.
B) Your main duty…
- Now we look at verse 22…
- “I made not these sacrifices your main duties. But I made love and obedience your main duty.” ( I Samuel 15:22;and Psalms 50:8-15.)
- Love and obey God #1
- Love and obey our parents #2
- Love and obey those who have authority over us #3.
- Verse 23 is the follow up verse to back up what he was saying in verse 22.
C) Four things they did wrong
- Verse 24…
- “But they hearkened not,” (They did not listen to God)
- “ nor inclined their ear,” (They didn’t try to listen to God)
- “ but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart,” (They did whatever they felt was right)
- “ and went backward, and not forward.” (They went into a backslidden condition and not go spiritually forward.) And then you notice verse 26… “they did worse than their fathers.”
- These very things that Jeremiah is preaching about is true of today’s people!
- They are not listening to God.
- They do what pleases themselves.
- They are not getting better, but they are getting worse.
D) Are your sacrifices any good?
- Read verses 27-30…
- Note four things in verse 28…
- “This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God,” What happens when you disobey God? (You get punished)
- “ nor receiveth correction:” When you do not want to receive correction, it only means one thing… you are pleasing self, and Satan.
- “ truth is perished,” The truth is dead.
- “and is cut off from their mouth.” And the truth is not spoken, and remember …
- Let us go to Matthew 15:18… But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile (ruin or corrupt)the man.
- And when the heart is defiled(ruined, corrupted)God is no longer a resident (Lives)
- When you look at a person and want to know what they “truly” are… listen to what comes from their mouth… because that is where there heart is!
- So, What is it that comes out of the mouth that is in our heart? Read verse 19… For out of the heart proceed….
- evil thoughts,- thoughts of hurting others, being better than others
- murders, – talk about killing someone
- adulteries,– unfaithful to our spouses
- fornications, – sex before marriage
- thefts,– stealing property, time from God, money from God
- false witness,– to lie
- blasphemies:– speaking against God
- E) The land shall be desolate
- When our sacrifices (what we give up for God’s sake) are not true sacrifices.. he will cause our land to be desolate…
- Note our text Jeremiah 7:34… Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth (Cheerful laughter), and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.
- Remember on Sunday nights we have a word study? We studied the word “desolate” What does it mean?
- Desolate– To be made waste; Alone, or separate; Empty
- Do we want our Country, our city, our church to be made waste?
- Do you want to be alone, or separate from God?
- Do you want to be empty?
IV. God’s Discipline or Correction Does You No Good
A) No one listens, God is ignored
- Read Jeremiah 7:27…
- Pay close attention to verse 27… this is the voice of a preacher.
- Do you as church members wonder why the pastor gets upset with you? Does it ever strike you funny that the pastor preaches sometimes like he is mad or upset with you?
- Well truth is… he is. WHY? Because you preach as does Jeremiah here and nothing happens no one comes to the altar, no one repents. And it is as if no one cares.
- We preach and no one listens.
- Do you understand that God sent your pastor here? Do you know that God gives him the sermons and Sunday School lessons to teach?
B) Polluting God’s house
- Read verses 28-30…
- You will note in the later part of verse 30 a word “pollute.” What does the word “pollute” mean?
- Websters defines it as this… to soil (make dirty), to defile (ruin) .
- How does a church member or a person called a “Christian (Christ-like)” pollute the House of God? Look back at verse 28….
- They obey not the voice of the Lord their God. In other words… the preacher preaches God’s word and they don’t obey when the Holy spirit convicts their heart to go forward during the invitation and get their heart right with God!
- “..nor receiveth correction,” and when their sin is exposed, they don’t want to admit it nor do they want to correct it by humbling themselves before God Almighty and repenting.
- “truth is perished (dead)” “the truth” here is talking about their works in the church such as the reason why they come, or soul win, or read the bible, or sing… it not performed from the heart.
- “it is cut off from their mouth” Here is the truth itself that is not even spoken in God’s house. That means the preacher himself has changed the bible he preaches from to a “more easy to understand” Then the song leader decides to sing songs that won’t make people sick about the “blood” being shed for us. The Sunday School lessons become a snack shop or game stop. The visitation programs are being told that it is not that big a deal to witness. These are the sins committed by our mouths.
- Now read verse 31… “built the high places of Tophet” What is that? Tophet was the place in that valley where the continual fires were kept up, in and through which they consecrated their children to Moloch. Note Psalms 106: 38 … And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
C) Their punishment
- Now read verses 32-34…
- What does God do to people who do not listen to the Holy Spirit, nor the man of God who speaks to them?
- Verse 32… it shall no more be called Tophet. Your name will be changed or not mean anything to others as it once was. “it shall no more be called Tophet”
- Verse 33...the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, (Your lives will be a bad example to the other Christians ) and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray (scare or frighten) them away. Or nobody will stick up for you, not even the worldly crowd.
- Verse 34…Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate. In other words … There shall no longer be in Jerusalem any cause of joy; they shall neither marry nor be given in marriage. Who would want them?
D) “False worship” is a serious crime against God
- Now read Jeremiah 8: 1-3...
- Note verse 3… And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family.
- Would you want to make God this angry with you that he would make your life so miserable that you wish you were dead?
- Now it’s time for your self examination… What is your Worship?