I started a journey this year reading through the book of Jeremiah. It is a book full of warnings with a glimpse of a God who WILL redeem His people although they are not worthy of redemption. I was reading Jeremiah the other morning and God showed me three things in His word that can- if we let them – serve as guideposts as we accept His truth in our lives and navigate a culture that hates truth.
1) These people were determined to worship the wrong god.
“We will certainly perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn sacrifices to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” Jeremiah 44:24-25
Notice that the text says that they spoke with their mouth. Jesus says, “for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart” (Luke 6:45). Their mouths were confirming what their hearts believed. As you take the incremental steps down the path of sin, you become numb to the reality of the implications in your life. They wanted to worship; however, they were worshiping the wrong god. Their words were followed by the horrible action of physical worship to their false god. They made vows, gave burnt offerings, and drink offerings to the false god called “queen of Heaven”.
You may say, “I don’t worship an idol, Tommy. I don’t bow down to any false god”. What do you spend the most of the time talking about? What do you spend most of your time doing? What are you giving your blood, sweat, and tears to? What consumes the majority of your thought life? Behold your god. We are all going to worship. Let me say that again, we are all going to worship. But what will be the object of your worship? Will it be the one true God or the false god of your choice?
2) Worship of a god you make brings physical and spiritual destruction.
In Jeremiah 44:26-27 we see Judah invoking the name of this great God. They had given themselves over to the Gods of Egypt, but were still calling on the name of the one true God. Why does this infuriate the one true living God? When either Judah or anyone worships an idol, they are placing worship upon something that is not God. This brings spiritual separation and physical destruction to individuals and nations. Whither the destruction is sudden, or comes slowly, over generations, the further people go down the path of idol worship, the more wrath they heap upon their heads.
Notice the application for these verses for our culture and world; every person must look at what your sin is producing in your life and society. The first step of repentance is staring into the face of the effects of sin in individuals and the lives of others, greed, homosexuality, sexual transmitted diseases, perversion of personhood, abortion, etc.
3) In the end, it’s God’s word versus god’s words.
Jeremiah 44:28 The few that do repentant and are few in number in this text, but look at what they come to terms with. They will understand whose words will actually stand. The prophetic voice of the word of God, as in every generation can never be underestimated. Notice what Jesus states in Matthew 5:18, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished”. When Judah looked back on what God said through Jeremiah there was going to be no mistaking what word was truly from God because they were watching it unfold in their lives. Time is a very good teacher. As time marches on to God’s providential end, history will accomplish exactly what the creator determines.
How does this affect your life in 2017 in your little spot on the earth? Whose voice are you listening to? God’s voice or gods voices? Here are two steps to put this truth to work in your life and the life of others.
- Where are your tendencies to worship the wrong god in your life? Ask yourself where in your life are you struggling, and there you will find the root of your idol.
- What are you doing to bring the life giving truth of God’s voice – His word – into your small part of the earth? Where are you sharing the Gospel and exposing people to the self-destructive nature of rebellion and sin?
Whose words are you following?
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