In The Word
Read: Jeremiah 2:1-3:5
2 Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord,
“I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth,
The love of your betrothals,
Your following after Me in the wilderness,
Through a land not sown.
3 “Israel was holy to the Lord,
The first of His harvest.
All who ate of it became guilty;
Evil came upon them,” declares the Lord.’”
4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord,
“What injustice did your fathers find in Me,
That they went far from Me
And walked after emptiness and became empty?
6 “They did not say, ‘Where is the Lord
Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt,
Who led us through the wilderness,
Through a land of deserts and of pits,
Through a land of drought and of deep darkness,
Through a land that no one crossed
And where no man dwelt?’
7 “I brought you into the fruitful land
To eat its fruit and its good things.
But you came and defiled My land,
And My inheritance you made an abomination.
8 “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’
And those who handle the law did not know Me;
The rulers also transgressed against Me,
And the prophets prophesied by Baal
And walked after things that did not profit.
9 “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” declares the Lord,
“And with your sons’ sons I will contend.
10 “For cross to the coastlands of Kittim and see,
And send to Kedar and observe closely
And see if there has been such a thing as this!
11 “Has a nation changed gods
When they were not gods?
But My people have changed their glory
For that which does not profit.
12 “Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
And shudder, be very desolate,” declares the Lord.
13 “For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of living waters,
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water.
14 “Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant?
Why has he become a prey?
15 “The young lions have roared at him,
They have roared loudly.
And they have made his land a waste;
His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant.
16 “Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes
Have shaved the crown of your head.
17 “Have you not done this to yourself
By your forsaking the Lord your God
When He led you in the way?
18 “But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt,
To drink the waters of the Nile?
Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria,
To drink the waters of the Euphrates?
19 “Your own wickedness will correct you,
And your apostasies will reprove you;
Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter
For you to forsake the Lord your God,
And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord God of hosts.
20 “For long ago I broke your yoke
And tore off your bonds;
But you said, ‘I will not serve!’
For on every high hill
And under every green tree
You have lain down as a harlot.
21 “Yet I planted you a choice vine,
A completely faithful seed.
How then have you turned yourself before Me
Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine?
22 “Although you wash yourself with lye
And use much soap,
The stain of your iniquity is before Me,” declares the Lord God.
23 “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled,
I have not gone after the Baals’?
Look at your way in the valley!
Know what you have done!
You are a swift young camel entangling her ways,
24 A wild donkey accustomed to the wilderness,
That sniffs the wind in her passion.
In the time of her heat who can turn her away?
All who seek her will not become weary;
In her month they will find her.
25 “Keep your feet from being unshod
And your throat from thirst;
But you said, ‘It is hopeless!
No! For I have loved strangers,
And after them I will walk.’
26 “As the thief is shamed when he is discovered,
So the house of Israel is shamed;
They, their kings, their princes
And their priests and their prophets,
27 Who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
And to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
For they have turned their back to Me,
And not their face;
But in the time of their trouble they will say,
‘Arise and save us.’
28 “But where are your gods
Which you made for yourself?
Let them arise, if they can save you
In the time of your trouble;
For according to the number of your cities
Are your gods, O Judah.
29 “Why do you contend with Me?
You have all transgressed against Me,” declares the Lord.
30 “In vain I have struck your sons;
They accepted no chastening.
Your sword has devoured your prophets
Like a destroying lion.
31 “O generation, heed the word of the Lord.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
Or a land of thick darkness?
Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam;
We will no longer come to You’?
32 “Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have forgotten Me
Days without number.
33 “How well you prepare your way
To seek love!
Therefore even the wicked women
You have taught your ways.
34 “Also on your skirts is found
The lifeblood of the innocent poor;
You did not find them breaking in.
But in spite of all these things,
35 Yet you said, ‘I am innocent;
Surely His anger is turned away from me.’
Behold, I will enter into judgment with you
Because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
36 “Why do you go around so much
Changing your way?
Also, you will be put to shame by Egypt
As you were put to shame by Assyria.
37 “From this place also you will go out
With your hands on your head;
For the Lord has rejected those in whom you trust,
And you will not prosper with them.”
The Polluted Land
3 God says, “If a husband divorces his wife
And she goes from him
And belongs to another man,
Will he still return to her?
Will not that land be completely polluted?
But you are a harlot with many lovers;
Yet you turn to Me,” declares the Lord.
2 “Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see;
Where have you not been violated?
By the roads you have sat for them
Like an Arab in the desert,
And you have polluted a land
With your harlotry and with your wickedness.
3 “Therefore the showers have been withheld,
And there has been no spring rain.
Yet you had a harlot’s forehead;
You refused to be ashamed.
4 “Have you not just now called to Me,
‘My Father, You are the friend of my youth?
5 ‘Will He be angry forever?
Will He be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken
And have done evil things,
And you have had your way.”
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
In the text today, we see the first assignment given to the prophet Jeremiah. God spoke to him and gave him instructions to go to the House of Jacob, which was Israel, and confront the sin that the Israelites allowed into their hearts and actions. During this time, the people of God had turned away from the commandments of the Father and started following their own selfish ambitions. The children of Israel decided to put their faith in things that may fail them, rather than in the God who cannot fail. God, loving them so much, sent Jeremiah to encourage them through correction.
People tend to default to carnal behavior when there is any level of uncertainty. Sometimes the things we reach for are not the answers to our problems. This causes us to neglect the One we should always turn to for the solution to our situations: Jesus Christ. God was calling His people back to Himself by identifying the error of their ways. Although the message seemed as if it was negative, it really was a message of love.
Don’t fall for the temptation of seeking security in earthly possessions, people, or your own abilities because they will fail you. There is no lasting relief outside of the love and obedience to God. God is challenging us to trust in Him and not things of the world. Pray that your faith will stay properly placed.