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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Totally Unaceptable

Jeremiah proclaims in his first message the history and subsequent downfall of Judah. Today we'll look at the second of three distinct times in their choice making - Time of Deviance (Jeremiah 2:4-13)
 

Definition of Deviant - different or unacceptable behavior: behavior that is sharply different from a customary, traditional, or generally accepted standard

The young wife  (Israel) becomes an unfaithful wife. She is guilty of many sins including Idolatry (4-11) – They worshipped others gods, and things created with their own hands.
 4-6 Hear God’s Message, House of Jacob! Yes, you—House of Israel! God’s Message: “What did your ancestors find fault with in me in that they drifted so far from me, Took up with Sir Windbag  and turned into windbags themselves? It never occurred to them to say, ‘Where’s God,  the God who got us out of Egypt, Who took care of us through thick and thin, those rough-and-tumble wilderness years of parched deserts and death valleys, A land that no one who enters comes out of, a cruel, inhospitable land?’ 7-8 “I brought you to a garden land where you could eat lush fruit. But you barged in and polluted my land,  trashed and defiled my dear land. The priests never thought to ask, ‘Where’s God?’ The religion experts knew nothing of me. The rulers defied me. The prophets preached god Baal And chased empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes. “Because of all this, I’m bringing charges against you”—God’s Decree— “charging you and your children and your grandchildren 10-11 Look around. Have you ever seen anything quite like this?  Sail to the western islands and look. Travel to the Kedar wilderness and look.  Look closely. Has this ever happened before, That a nation has traded in its gods  for gods that aren’t even close to gods? But my people have traded my Glory for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.
Forsaking God (vv. 12-13)  Water is essential for life. They chose not to drink from the Living Waters but dig for themselves cisterns that crack and offer (or hold) no water. This action shows that they have turned their backs on God and are trying to control life for themselves. When we make this decision we have essentially made ourselves God.
 12-13 “Stand in shock, heavens, at what you see! Throw up your hands in disbelief—this can’t be!” God’s Decree. “My people have committed a compound sin:  they’ve walked out on me, the fountain Of fresh flowing waters, and then dug cisterns— cisterns that leak, cisterns that are no better than sieves.
Godless alliances (vv. 18-19) Israel made military agreements with Egypt and Assyria for their protection. Their dependence for safe keeping had turned from reliance on God to man.
 18-19 “And now, what do you think you’ll get by going off to Egypt? Maybe a cool drink of Nile River water? Or what do you think you’ll get by going off to Assyria? Maybe a long drink of Euphrates River water? Your evil ways will get you a sound thrashing, that’s what you’ll get. You’ll pay dearly for your disloyal ways. Take a long, hard look at what you’ve done and its bitter results. Was it worth it to have walked out on your God?”  God’s Decree, Master God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
Israel had forsaken her first love. The church is warned of this in Revelation 2:4-5: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
Be wise today and always - remember Jesus, Lover of your soul as your first love every day.