Jeremiah 11:1-17, Hear The Words Of The Covenant
1. The Covenant Establishes Relationship With God (v1-5)
2. Breaking The Covenant Brings Judgment (v6-10)
3. The Covenant Requires Exclusive Devotion (v11-14)
4. Breaking The Covenant Hurts Both Sides (v15-17)
Jeremiah 11:1-17, Hear The Words Of The Covenant
Jeremiah 11:1-17, Hear The Words Of The Covenant
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Here as we look at Jeremiah, Chapter 11.
I've titled the message tonight.
Hear the words of the covenant.
Hear the words of the covenant here in Chapter 11.
God is going to be reviewing a bit the covenant that he established with the Nation of Israel and calling the people of Israel to be refreshed and renewed in that covenant, that they would be obedient to it.
That they would fulfill their end of.
The covenant. Now, we don't know exactly when in Jeremiah's ministry this passage took place, but it is interesting to note Jeremiah began his ministry during the reign of King Josiah, and King Josiah was a good king who instituted reforms in the land we've seen from.
Previous chapters in Jeremiah already.
As although Josiah was a good king and and brought about reforms and a a bit of revival for the majority of the people, it was only on the surface they complied outwardly, but there was not a full repentance in the hearts of the people collectively, and so there were some issues there but Josiah?
Did his best and he instituted reforms and he renewed the covenant.
In Second Kings chapter 23.
We see that Josiah gathered together all of the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, and so he made the leadership of the nation gathered together and collectively there the Elders Re renewed and re committed.
They read from the book of the Covenant, probably the Book of Deuteronomy.
But it could have been a portion of Exodus or any of Moses books really.
But but they read through that, that covenant that God had established with them in the wilderness at sign.
And as they read through that book of the Covenant, then it tells us that the king made them swear.
And made them promise to perform all the words.
Of the covenant, and it tells us in Second Kings 23 that the people took a stand for the covenant.
We don't know their hearts, we don't know them specifically, and maybe everybody involved in Chapter 23 had hearts perfectly aligned with the Lord, and so they took a stand for the covenant.
Now, a covenant is a serious thing.
It is a solemn agreement that is binding and God has throughout all time really related to US, humanity.
In covenants, there is the covenant he made to Abraham.
There is the covenant that he made with Israel and Sinai, and then of course there is the new covenant that we have in Jesus Christ.
And and the idea of a covenant is this really serious, this solemn agreement that binds two parties.
Together, typically today we use the word contract, but it's a the same concept.
It's a legal type of agreement involving 2 or more parties.
In this case, the covenants that God makes with humanity involves, of course, the Lord and involves us, the people.
And and this covenant that God had made at Mount Sinai with the people of Israel, it was a covenant that he offered to them and that they willingly accepted and agreed to.
But now here in Jeremiah Chapter 11, God is going to be holding them accountable to that covenant that they as a nation.
Had agreed to.
But that they as a nation had not kept.
And so it's a refresher on the words of the covenant.
It's a reminder of this covenant that was made back in the wilderness, but also more recently in their lifetime.
In the revival of Josiah, they refreshed and renewed this.
Covenant Re committed themselves to the Lord and yet there was these major issues in their breaking the covenant.
And so God is addressing that through the prophet Jeremiah here in Jeremiah Chapter 11.
And so we're going to walk through four points.
About the words of the covenant, to help us understand that and also to help us reflect on our own situation with our covenant with the Lord.
So the first point we're going to look at is in verses one through 5. Here's point #1. The Covenant establishes relationship with God. It always comes back to this. We always need to be reminded.
Of this truth that God's greatest interest is relationship with us and everything that he does and all the things that the ways that he works and the things that he's said and established it. It all revolves around his desire to have a real.
Committed relationship with.
People in verse one and two it says the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, hear the words of this covenant and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Here the Lord tells Jeremiah, hear the words.
Now again, we don't know exactly the timing, but it is possible that.
The Lord was giving this to Jeremiah when Josiah was reading the words and calling the people to recommit.
It's possible that it corresponded.
It could have been leader.
Know but but.
Here the Lord is refreshing Jeremiah, and he says, Jeremiah, I want you to hear the.
Words of the covenant.
Now Jeremiah is.
A prophet and he is faithful.
To the Lord.
But God, says Jeremiah, you hear the words, you listen and then speak to the men of Judah.
Jeremiah, be refreshed and renewed in your covenant with me and your commitment to me in the things that we have both agreed to in this covenant there there is an important part for Jeremiah.
To be refreshed and renewed in this relationship, in this agreement, to be committed to one another, that God had called all of the people of Israel too.
And it was only after that Jeremiah heard the words of the covenant, that then he would be able to speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the words of the covenant, that that he needed first to have his own kind of refreshed commitment to the Lord, refreshed encounter with the Lord, in order to in in to enable him.
To be able to be the instrument of the Lord to.
Call the people of Judah to reignite their commitment to the Lord and re engage in the covenant that they had made.
With the Lord.
And verse three it goes on to say and see to them.
Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Kursed, is the man who does not obey the words of this.
It starts out.
Speaking through Jeremiah to the nation of Judah first, Jeremiah is refreshed and renewed in his commitment and understanding the covenant.
But then as he begins to speak to the people, he's going to talk about the the blessings part of the covenant, but the covenants that got established with the people included both blessings.
Things included both good things for fulfilling the covenant and then consequences for breaking the covenant, and that's what verse three is referring to.
God is saying, look, the covenant that we made, it's a serious and binding agreement and and there are real consequences for.
Breaking that covenant and the one who does not obey the words of the covenant, the one who breaks the covenant, is Kurt.
First, the person who the people who removed themselves from the covenant removed themselves from that position of blessing and put themselves in a position of deserving judgment and deserving wrath and, well, their curse.
They're going to experience the consequences for going back on their word.
And breaking the covenant that they had with the Lord.
And this was not a new covenant, it was one that had been recently renewed.
It goes back to the beginning.
Verse four goes on to say which I commanded your fathers, and the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt from the iron furnace, saying, obey my voice and do according to all that I command you.
And so he calls them back to the deliverance out of Egypt.
And their God established that covenant with them in the wilderness at Mount Sinai.
You can read about this, of course, in the Book of Exodus as well as the.
Book of deuteronomy.
And Exodus chapter 24, we have specifically a record of the covenant being written.
Down and established in Exodus Chapter 24. I'm going to read a couple of verses here. I apologize I didn't have opportunity to prepare them to put them on the screen, but you can turn their Exodus 24 or just listen along verse four of Exodus 24, it says. Then Moses wrote all.
The words of the.
Lord and he rose early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and 12 pillars, according to the 12 Tribes of Israel.
Then he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.
And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.
Then he took the book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people, and they said all that the Lord has said, we will do and be obedient.
And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, this is the.
Blood of the.
Covenant which the Lord has made with you, according to all these words.
So there it kind.
Of summarizes and wraps up.
It doesn't give all the words of the covenant, but it tells us about the book of the Covenant and Moses read the book of the Covenant, all of the details of the agreements that are being made.
Deuteronomy chapter 272829 and 30 outline the blessings and the cursings of the Covenant, the blessings as they walk in obedience, the cursings if they walk in disobedience. These are the the the binding agreements that the people made with the Lord.
The Covenant is established there of old, and it was based upon this very simple principle.
Obey my voice and do according to all that I command you.
And the people said, yes, we will obey God.
And then just recently, under Josiah's reign, the people again said, yes, we haven't been keeping the covenant, but yes, we will obey. God will go back.
To obedience to what God has said and declared for us.
In his word.
And then notice at the end of verse 4 the focus again, God's objective here, he says, so shall you be my people, and I will be your God.
The focus and the objective here, the whole purpose for obedience and disobedience, having blessings and cursings attached to them.
The whole thing that God is interested in here is relationship with us.
It's always important to remember that God doesn't call things sin and command and forbid things.
Because he's trying to cause us to miss out.
On good things are things that are beneficial to us.
He calls us to obedience so that we can be in a position.
To have relationship.
So that we can be his people and he will be our God.
That that disobedience is things that are harmful to us and destructive to us.
And so God says, don't do those things.
Be in your.
Rightful place of.
Submission to me and all of my instruction for you, which is for your good and to your benefit.
And when you are walking with me in that way, when we are in the fulfillment of this covenant, there is tremendous blessing.
Verse five goes on to say.
Here in Jeremiah 11 that.
I may establish the oath which I have sworn.
To your fathers.
To give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.
And then Jeremiah answered and said, so be it, Lord.
Lord, so God says.
To Jeremiah, I want you to speak.
To the men of Judah.
Remind them this covenant involves blessings, the land flowing with milk and honey, and there's all of that. Yes, this covenant also involves cursing's curse. It is the man who does not obey.
The words of the covenant.
This was what everybody agreed to.
You agreed to this as a nation back in the wilderness.
You agreed to this recently in the reforms of Josiah.
The objective being a relationship with God.
But this covenant involves some serious and real.
And some serious and real consequences for neglecting those requirements.
This is the way that God relates to us.
Again, he's from the beginning related to us by covenants.
The covenant with Noah, the covenant with Abraham, the Covenant with Israel at Sinai, and then the New Covenant later on in Jeremiah Chapter 31, Jeremiah is going to talk about and prophecy about that new covenant that will come in Jeremiah Chapter 31, verse 31 says, behold the days are coming, says the Lord.
When I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah, not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers in the day, that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt.
My covenant, which they broke, though I was a husband.
To them, says the Lord.
But notice Jeremiah 3133. But this is the covenant that I will make with the House of Israel after those days, says the Lord.
I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The new covenant.
Is prophesied about by Jeremiah later on, and then fulfilled by Jesus.
In Luke chapter 22.
When he instituted communion.
Tells us that Jesus took the bread and gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying this is my body which.
Is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.
And likewise he took the cup after supper, saying, this cup is the new covenant in my blood which is shed for you.
The Lord foretold about the new covenant.
Jesus declared himself to be the fulfillment of that new covenant as he represented the death upon the cross in the communion elements.
All of that to say.
The Nation of Israel was in this very serious relationship with the Lord that was by a covenant.
It was not a kind of just lose, like, hey, come hang out with me if you want to, God says.
And, you know, when you don't feel like hanging out with me, you know, just go do your own thing and live your life and, you know, be however you want to be.
And that's cool.
And you know, I'm.
I'll be here whenever you want to come back, you know it's come back.
And you can hang out with me again.
And it it wasn't that kind of relationship that God was offering Israel.
It was a covenant.
A committed relationship, much like a marriage that there was to be this agreement.
To establish this relationship with serious blessings and serious consequences.
Serious blessings for walking in that relationship and and embracing it fully, and serious consequences.
For going back on your word and saying, yeah, never mind.
You know, I kind of want to go hang out with other gods and pursue other things and listen to other ideas and philosophies for life.
And I'm going to just chase after different things and.
There was going to be great consequences for breaking that covenant and now here we are under a new covenant.
And I think.
It's important for us, as we read through Jeremiah and the Lord told Jeremiah here the words of this covenant, that that it's important for us to be reminded as well.
This what we have with God by faith in Jesus Christ, is also a covenant.
It's a new covenant, but it's still a covenant.
It's still a very serious and solemn agreement.
Between God and us.
And it's not this loose thing, like, hey, you know, Jesus died, everything is forgiven.
So just do what you want, live how you want, you know?
Think whatever you want.
Watch whatever you want.
Eat whatever you want.
Go wherever you want, do whatever you want, talk to wherever you want.
Sleep with whoever you want.
It's not this.
Like loose, do whatever you want kind of thing and.
Then just come back and hang out with Jesus.
It is a serious, committed relationship that we have entered into.
When we approached God by faith in Jesus Christ.
I would suggest to you as you look at.
The Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
We often kind of like really separate them heavily in our minds and in the way that we talk about them, but the old covenant and the new covenant, I would suggest you has.
More in common with each other than differences.
I'm just going.
To run down a couple things, just as a for example.
This is not meant to be exhaustive, so don't shoot me on all the details, but.
The Old Covenant and the New Covenant are both initiated by God.
It wasn't man idea either one.
Both of them were God idea.
Both covenants provided forgiveness.
Both covenants provided a way for people to be forgiven of their sin.
Now the book of Hebrews kind of goes into the the differences of the old and the new and highlights the how you know how much better the new covenant is.
But both covenants provided a way for people to be washed in cleanse of their sin and to be set back into right relationship with God to stand before God righteous, justified by the forgiveness that they received from him.
We're focused on relationship.
Again, we sometimes make a big distinction between the Old Testament, the New Testament, the old covenant, the New Covenant, but from the very beginning its relationship that God has been desiring.
And so forgiveness was high priority for God because, well, that was the thing.
Sin separates us from God.
High priority for God was to deal with that sin issue so that there could be relationship, that there could be fellowship, that there could be a real intimacy between US and God.
Neither Covenant was a works based.
And this is one I think we might wrestle with a little bit in our minds.
Neither Covenant was a covenant of, well, the old covenant was not a covenant of you have to earn it and deserve it.
The the root of both covenants are faith.
The requirement is faith for both covenants, and Paul lays out that argument really thoroughly in the book of Romans, right?
It's always been by faith, salvation, forgiveness, relationship with God has always been by faith from the very beginning.
It's never been earned, even in the old covenant in the Old Testament.
In the system of works, it was never or the system of laws.
It was never a system of works by which you earn fellowship with God, relationship with God, and forgiveness from God.
It's always been both covenants are covenants of faith.
That expresses itself in works.
Both covenants are that.
The Old Covenant and the the sacrificial system.
You brought the sacrifices because you believed it was your expression of faith.
God told you this is how you deal with the issue of sin, and so the people would bring as an expression of their faith the sacrifice to the Lord.
And so neither covenant is earned by works, both covenants require faith and faith is the root and the core on our part of both covenants.
And also I would suggest you both covenants require obedience.
It's not works that earn the covenant or or deserve the forgiveness or that, but it is works that flow from the faith, flow from the covenant, flow from the relationship, and and that obedience is required.
It's not optional.
One of the.
Things that really stands out about the new covenant as apart from the old is the indwelling of.
The Holy Spirit.
And that's what Jeremiah is highlighting in Jeremiah Chapter 31 when he talks about the new covenant.
Being written on the minds and in the hearts.
It's the working of the Holy Spirit, that.
Was not part of the Old Covenant because it was prior to the Cross of Christ and so there is definitely some incredible benefits in the new covenant.
First of all, the old covenant is obsolete now, so it's not like you can try.
To live by that or go back to that but.
But there is definitely some huge advantages that God has provided in the new covenant.
But I think it's.
Interesting to consider and important to note.
That there also are a lot of similarities because we need to understand the seriousness of the relationship that we have entered into, that we don't take it too lightly and too loosely that.
We are not.
Irreverent in our relationship to God or in our approach?
To life that that we understand this.
Is a real.
Full covenant that we have made, and we've entered into something that is binding and there is incredible blessings that come with that, but there's also serious consequences for neglecting that relationship and that commitment that we have made with God.
And so here in verses one through 5, again the Covenant establishes relationship with God.
It's what God is desired.
It's what he's always wanted.
And so he has provided these covenants, these agreements by which we can enter in to this fellowship and have this relationship with God.
It's by his grace and his mercy that he even offers these to us.
These covenants are for our benefit that we might know him, that he would be our God and that we would be his people.
While moving on to verses 6 through 10, we get point #2 and that is that breaking the covenant brings judgment.
Already alluded to and the Cursings mentioned earlier, but now elaborated further in verses 6 through 10.
Starting in verse six, it says.
Then the Lord said to me, proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, hear the words of this covenant, and do them.
For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt until this day, rising early and exhorting.
Saying obey my voice.
Yet they did not obey or inclined their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart.
Therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.
Breaking the covenant brings.
Judgment, God tells Jeremiah.
I want you to proclaim.
All the words.
In the cities of Judah spread the word.
Make sure everybody in all the cities get to hear.
Get to be refreshed and reminded.
That when the covenant is broken, there are serious consequences.
Now the call here is still an opportunity and I've mentioned for the past couple weeks in the context of Jeremiah, the nation Judah is on its last leg.
This is the last chance, the last opportunity before full destruction comes by the nation of Babylon.
But here again, notice in Verse 6 God says hear the words of this covenant and do them.
Here he is still giving opportunity to the people to repent.
It's not too late, you've broken the covenant.
It's like demolished it in so many ways, but.
But you can start right now to hear the words of the covenant and do them.
There's still opportunity to repent.
It's not too late to start to obey.
It doesn't mean you'll escape all consequences, and I'm not going to get into all of that.
But but the point is that God isn't like, completely.
Written them off, he's still inviting them back into the covenant.
You've broken the covenant, but if you'll come back and start to do the covenant, fulfill your part of the covenant, there's still the opportunity here for you to be engaged in this covenant and have right relationship, right fellowship with me.
And God kind of.
Re outlines for them, their history.
Again, he says.
I I exhorted your father.
Listen, you have lots of history here to help educate you on what to do in this situation.
And for thousands of years.
I have called out to your.
Descendants, your ancestors, and invited them to obey, he says, rising early and exhorting, saying.
Obey my voice.
I've been the one rising early.
I'm the one who's initiating, and I've been sending prophets and I've been meeting with people and and all throughout your history, Israel, I've been calling you to obedience.
But Israel throughout your history?
Verse 8 tells us he did not obey, he did not incline your ear.
Everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart.
Overall, as a nation, as a people, they said no, thank you, God, we want to do what we want to do and we don't want you to tell us what to do or not to do.
And so God says, therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant.
When Joshua led the people into the promised land, and then he was old and aged, he was about to die.
He warned the people and he said, listen, God been really good to us.
And he has done everything that he said he would do as we have invaded this land and taken it just.
As he called us to.
And so rest.
Assured God will do everything that he said he would do.
If we depart from God and pursue other gods and other things instead of God.
That that God is just as faithful to his word in those good promises that we love, that we hold onto, that we embrace.
And, Oh yes, that's a good word.
God said he was going to do it, and so we hold onto it.
God just as faithful to his word in those what we might call good promises as he is to those.
Promises of the consequences that will come from breaking the covenant.
And we need to understand again, breaking the covenant brings judgment.
That God has established these covenants.
They are solemn, they are serious and neglecting them, breaking them, disregarding them, treating them lightly.
And so God tells Jeremiah go and remind the people.
Hear the words of the covenant.
Remember what this covenant is.
Remember what's involved, the blessings and the cursings, and I'm calling you to obey it.
I'm still inviting you to re engage with this covenant and to start to be obedient in it.
And to learn from the history of those who have had the same invitation but have refused to participate and experienced.
When we talk about relationship with the Lord, we need to understand we're dealing with life and death.
We're not just saying, OK, listen.
I mean you.
Can have a pretty.
Good life, but if you believe in Jesus, you could.
Have a really good life.
And you know, if you don't want to believe.
If you don't really.
Want to walk with Jesus?
You know, we could just have a pretty good life.
Like, no, there's no pretty good life apart from Jesus.
Apart from Jesus departing from the covenant, moving out of that relationship with God is going to result in tragedy and destruction.
The wages of sin is death.
And that was true for the people in Jeremiah's day. It's true in our day. We need to understand.
We ignore what God has set as the parameters of the covenant, and we are going to bring judgment and destruction and hurt and heartache to our lives.
Breaking the Covenant brings judgment.
Verse 9 the Lord said to me, a conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words.
And they have gone after other gods to serve them.
The House of Israel and the House of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
The Lord says there has been a conspiracy.
The word conspiracy could be literally translated a betrayal or a treason.
There's been a betrayal.
Don't think of conspiracy and automatically think about, you know?
Politics and aliens and all that stuff, right?
What what God is saying here is that there is a betrayal.
There is a a broken covenant.
They have betrayed me and they've done so deliberately.
That's the part of the conspiracy, that it's not just been a accidental thing that they kind of just fell into you, but they took a course of betrayal.
They plotted and planned.
A route of treason.
And they've turned back to the iniquities.
Of their forefathers.
They've broken my covenant.
They've broken it.
Remind them of the blessings and the cursings.
The words of this covenant.
And then make sure that they understand it's clear.
They have broken the covenant that the position that they're in is not in the position of right relationship and promise blessing and protection and they're going to have, you know, their, their land taken care of.
The position that they're in is outside of that relationship.
They've broken the covenant and they deserve and they've earned all of the cursings that are outlined there in the covenant.
The judgment is coming that they deserve.
They need to understand exactly where they stand.
Breaking the covenant brings.
Again, the Book of Hebrews compares and contrasts the old covenant and the New Covenant in a variety of ways.
It's written to the Hebrews.
It's written to the Jewish people.
Who had believed in Jesus, but were tempted to go back to the old covenant and try to relate to and have fellowship with God by the old ways of the previous covenant that God had made obsolete with the New covenant.
And the author of Hebrews warns, Listen, when you cast off Jesus, that leaves nothing else.
When you exit that covenant and you say, you know, I'm not gonna be in a committed relationship with God by faith in Jesus Christ, so I'm not going to live under that covenant any longer.
I think I'll go back to some other way to relate to God.
Try some other approach, try some other and.
It seems like the the Hebrews of that time were considering doing so because of persecution, because of a history and tradition and all of that their culture.
But the author writing to the Hebrews says, listen, when you cast off Jesus, there's nothing else.
There's no other way to relate to God.
And breaking that covenant puts you in a position.
Departure from Jesus.
Leaves no more room for.
The blessings of the covenant.
Now sometimes we wrestle with this.
And I'm not.
Trying to stir up some issues within you about once saved, always saved and that whole debate right?
And I'm not even arguing for one side or the.
Other of that.
But for us to understand the covenant and and walking in this covenant with the Lord, walking in this relationship with the Lord, is a a serious and binding agreement that we've been part of and agreed to and when we go back on our word.
There is consequences, there is ramifications.
We may not think that this is a New Testament idea.
And sometimes we get it in our heads.
That we can.
Kind of treat the covenant lightly.
And no big deal.
Mercy right, we're covered.
In Luke chapter 6.
Jesus challenged the people.
He challenges us.
Verse 46 of Luke six he.
Why do you call me?
Lord, Lord and do not.
The things which I say.
You say Lord literally means master.
You're the master.
I'm the servant.
But master, I'm not going to obey you like that's.
The contradiction that he is addressing there, why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?
He goes on to give an example or an illustration.
If you come to me and hear.
My things and do them.
Well then, you're like a wise man who builds a house and digs deeply to lay the house on the foundation of the rock.
And then, when the storms come, the house stands because it was founded on the rock.
But the one who hears and does nothing and does not obey is like the one who just.
Builds a house on sand and when those same storm storms come, the house is demolished and destroyed because it was built on the sand.
And Jesus says the ruin of that house was great.
Jesus is saying, here's the covenant.
Obey me, listen to me and do what I say.
And when you do that, you are building your house on the rock.
And you will last and you will survive through the storms of this life.
But if you depart from the covenant, if you break the covenant and do not do the things that I say, you're building your life upon the sand and your life will be destroyed.
The ruin of your House will be great.
Breaking the Covenant brings judgment.
To disregarding what the Lord has said, to breaking our commitment that we made to the Lord, to walk with him, to obey him, and to surrender ourselves to him.
It was true in Jeremiah's day. It was true at Mount Sinai. It's true today in the new covenant.
Here are the words of the covenant.
It establishes our relationship with God.
And if we break it?
It brings judgment from God well, point #3 moving on to verses 11 through 14. The Covenant requires exclusive devotion. This covenant disagreement that God has made with man at Sinai.
With the people in Jeremiah's day, the new Covenant.
A covenant that requires exclusivity check out verses 11 through 14.
It says therefore thus says the Lord.
Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape, and though they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods, to whom they offer incense.
But they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
For according to the number of your cities where you're gozzo Judah, and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem, you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn, incense to ball.
So do not pray for this people.
Or lift up a cry or prayer for them.
For I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to me because of.
God says surely.
I will bring calamity upon them because they've broken the covenant.
They have departed.
From the agreement that they made, I've held up my end, but they have broken their end.
And so surely I will bring calamity on them again, just as sure as God will do all of those wonderful promises that we love to embrace.
He also will bring the terrible consequences that he also declared he also promised.
Those are also promises.
We just don't like to classify him that way.
He brings judgments.
When the covenant is broken.
I will bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape, and though they cry out to me, I will not.
Listen to them.
I mean, this is really.
Hard stuff that the Lord is saying here, right?
They're going to be.
Herding in the midst of the calamity that I bring upon them, and although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
I mean, if that doesn't kind of like give you a little bit of a chill, like you need to wake up and read the verse again.
Although they cry out to me, I will not listen to them.
The opportunity is right now.
Back in verse six, he says hear the words of.
The Covenant and do them.
But when the calamity comes and now the people are calling out to God, he says.
No, I'm not listening.
But we need to understand that the reason why God is not listening.
It's not because he's cold and callous and he doesn't care.
It's that they haven't actually yet repented, even in the midst of the calamity when they're hurting and crying out to God, their hearts.
Are still not loyal to God.
Because you can see it.
In verse 12.
Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods, to whom they offer incense.
But they will not be able to save them at all in the time.
Of their trouble follow.
The order in verse 11, though, they cry out to me.
I will not listen to them.
Verse 12, then next.
After they call it to the Lord, and the Lord doesn't answer them then.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods, to whom they offer incense.
There's a sequence here, and so God is saying, look, the reason why I'm not going to answer them is because their hearts are still divided.
In the midst of the calamity, yes, they run to the Lord because that's what everybody does.
We we cry out to God in the midst of hurt and pain and calamity.
But God says you run to me in the midst of calamity, and your heart still divided, and you're still burning incense and worshipping other gods.
Don't expect me to answer.
God says I'm not even going to listen.
Don't expect me to listen when your heart is divided.
Between other gods.
He says in verse 12 these gods will not be able to save them.
At all in their time of trouble.
Because false gods are false gods.
They're not actual gods.
They have no real power, and they cannot save.
But here we are, devoting ourselves to them, giving them time and attention, giving them resources, investing ourselves, and immersing ourselves in the pleasures of these gods that cannot save.
Breaking our covenant with the true and Living God who can save.
To pursue these temporary pleasures and temporary things that.
Have no lasting value.
They promise great things, but.
Cannot fulfill on those promises.
God says your gods are so numerous it's as.
The same number as your cities in verse 13.
As many streets as you have, that's how many.
Altars you have.
You're worshiping all these things.
I I think that's interesting to consider.
You know, sometimes when we talk about idolatry today.
We usually take a moment to say, you know, they bowed down and worship statues and we don't do that today.
But that doesn't mean that we're not idolatrous, right?
That there's things in our life that are receiving the attention, the devotion, the passion that belongs to God.
God deserves one place in our life that is master.
First and foremost, above everything else.
And so when we think about idolatry, we understand there's some present day application.
But I think also we often picture at least.
Maybe I should just keep it.
More personal and not.
Malign your character but.
Idolatry I usually if I'm evaluating like OK, is there some big thing that is taking God's place?
But but notice here.
When the people of Judah departed from God.
And went into idolatry when they broke the covenant to worship something else they didn't.
Replace it with one big religious system.
They replaced it with a multitude of little religious systems.
And sometimes idolatry is not one big thing that replaces God in your life.
Sometimes idolatry is a multitude of smaller things.
That combined replace God or take the place of God.
In your life.
And so it's easy to look at the mirror, look at our lives and say, yeah, there's not one big thing that really competes with God.
He's still 50% of my life, you know, and everything else is lesser.
The Lord is not in that rightful place.
It doesn't matter if it's one big thing or.
A bunch of little things.
And so you might think, well, yeah, work is not my God, but maybe work plus family plus football plus TV shows is your God.
That that these things collectively have supplanted God and his authority in your life and caused you to be in a place where you are not.
Continuing in that covenant that you made with him, that he is not the final say about how you live and what you do and where you go and what you say and how you think about those things and the way that you process those things and the attitude.
That you have that.
That he is not the final authority.
He doesn't have his rightful place in your life because all these other little things have crept in.
And pushed him out.
And so they had a bunch of gods.
They didn't have one big God that they abandoned.
In fact, they continued to go to the temple and worship God in addition to all these little gods.
And God says, no, that doesn't work.
I can't be one of many.
I can't have any competition for this place in your life.
I need, I need to be the most important.
I need to be the one that you are.
Most concerned about.
I need to be.
The one that you're most submitted to.
I need to be the one that you love the most.
I need to be first.
This covenant that God made with the Nation of Israel required exclusivity.
The covenant that you and I have with God by faith in Jesus Christ, the new covenant is also an exclusive.
Covenant is a a covenant that requires exclusive devotion.
That there cannot be there, may not be there, should not be there.
There is consequence.
For allowing other things to compete with God Place.
In our minds and in our hearts.
Commentator FB Meyer says as long as the soul is wedded to.
Its evil ways.
It is impervious to the entrance of.
God's light and love.
As long as our hearts, our souls are wetted.
Married to holding onto our evil ways, there's anything we're holding onto.
It keeps us out of the covenant.
Which means it keeps us.
From that fellowship, from the benefits of that agreement that we made with God.
Now, again, this is not just an Old Testament type of concept.
Jesus in Luke chapter 14 made this very clear.
Here tells us the multitudes went after him, but he went said to them.
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple, Jesus said.
You cannot be my disciple, no.
You have relationships with other people that are a higher priority than your relationship with me.
You cannot be my disciple.
No, I forbid it.
It's not going to happen.
You cannot be a follower of Jesus if you have relationships with other people that are a higher priority than your relationship with Jesus.
He goes on to say whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Kind of think of it in the way that like, well, God's just desperate, you know, for a relationship with us and anybody he can get. And so sure, you know, just.
Come with all your baggage and be my disciple.
And yes, come with all your baggage.
So that you can surrender it to the Lord, but don't come with all your baggage intending to.
With those things.
God says, come as you are, but then you're going.
To leave it at.
The cross and you're going to be exclusive and and if you can't do that, you cannot be my disciple, Jesus says.
And so he challenges the people to count the cost.
He talks about, hey, if you go.
To build a.
Tower don't use it first and think about do I have enough money to finish?
The tower that I'm about to build.
Don't just come to me and say I'm gonna be your disciple.
Stop and think, OK?
Do I have?
What it takes to love Jesus more than my family.
More than my brothers and sisters, yes.
Even more than my own life and my own goals and my own career and my own pursuits and everything that I want and my will do.
I love Jesus more than I love my will.
And if not, I cannot be his disciple.
I cannot pursue him.
And pursue other things also.
I can only pursue the things that he, in relationship with me, instructs me to pursue and invites me to pursue.
In agreement with his will, in compliance to his will.
Jesus goes on to the people, he says.
If if a king goes.
To battle who?
What kind of king doesn't stop and think?
Wait, do I have enough troops?
To face the opposition, the enemy that is coming now.
Figure it out.
First, can I do this?
Can I win this battle?
Jesus says you can't just come to me and say I want to be your disciple.
You need to stop and think.
Can I give up?
Can I give up those pursuits?
Give up my will.
Luke, chapter 14, verse 33. Jesus said so. Likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.
You can't pursue Jesus and other things.
The Covenant is an exclusive covenant.
It's an exclusive devotion where God is 1st and his will is above everything else.
What he wants, what he says, where he says, when he says.
A covenant of submission to God and obedience to God.
And if you're not willing to be obedient to God, you cannot be the disciple of Jesus.
And you are not the disciple of Jesus if you are not living and walking in obedience to God.
Not to suggest that we ever do.
This exactly perfectly right but.
Part of that obedience to God is confessing our sin and inviting him and letting him transform us.
From the inside.
God as we walk with him.
Well, I need to finish up. Verse 15 through 17 gives us point #4. Breaking the covenant hurts both sides. Verse 15 says.
What has my beloved to do in my house, having done lewd deeds with many?
And the holy flesh has passed from you.
When you do evil, then you rejoice.
The Lord called your name green olive tree, lovely and of good fruit.
With the noise of a great tumult, he has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken.
For the Lord of hosts who planted you has pronounced doom against you for all, or for the evil of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger.
In offering incense to Baal.
God here is expressing the hurt notice.
In verse 15 he still calls Judah.
What has my beloved to do in my house?
Again, they were worshiping these other gods.
There was a multitude of them, but they would come.
Back to the temple.
And God says you're still my people and I still love you.
But what on Earth are you doing here?
He's paralleling this with adultery.
Like you, my spouse, have been out there doing lewd deeds with many, and now you come back to my house and you want to just have relationship as if nothing ever happened.
God says that doesn't work.
You're my beloved.
But we can't carry on like this.
When you do evil, you rejoice.
I mean, if you're coming back from evil, and you're.
Broken hearted about it and weeping and asking for forgiveness and repentance, that's one thing.
But when you do evil, you rejoice.
Not since you're my beloved.
But we can't, we can't continue on like that.
I used to call you the green olive tree.
Lovely and have good fruit.
Had these nicknames for you that.
Represented the the hope and the freshness of.
Of the life that we could have together but.
On this one that I love.
I'm going to have to bring judgment.
For the Lord.
Of hosts who planted you as pronounced doom against you.
God is not happy.
To fulfill the.
Curses the consequences of the broken covenant.
It breaks his heart to do so.
And then he tells the people they're at the end of verse 17.
Done against themselves to provoke me to anger and offering incense to ball.
They're goofing off and playing around.
With these other gods.
Hurts God who still loves them greatly.
But it hurts themselves, brings judgment upon themselves.
It's to their own hurt, to their own detriment.
The wages of sin is death.
We need to understand breaking the covenant hurts both sides.
It hurts God.
And it hurts us. It's.
Crimes against ourselves.
When we disregard what God says and do what we want, pursue our own passions, pursue our own ideas and our own ideals we need.
So that God have the final say here, the words of the covenant.
The Lord tells Jeremiah here the words Jeremiah you need to be refreshed or reminded.
Then you'll be in a place where you can deliver this message to others.
But first, Jeremiah, you be refreshed.
Talking about the covenant, I think it's appropriate for us to.
End the service together, partaking of.
The representation of the new covenant that Jesus gave to us, the bread and the cup, he instituted communion.
And it's important for us to note this covenant has a lot of similarities with the old covenant.
But it doesn't remove all barriers and say just do.
Whatever you want.
Live however you.
Want there's no consequences, there's no real issues.
You don't have to be really committed.
You don't really have to be sold out or serious.
There's no really detrimental things if you disregard the covenant.
Now the covenant is really very similar.
It's about relationship with God.
It requires obedience.
It requires faith.
You find forgiveness so that you can have that fellowship with God.
As you walk with him in submission.
And the covenant that he has established for us.
And so I'm going to step over and lead us in a song or two, and those communion elements are on the table in the back, and I just want to encourage you, invite you.
It's not a requirement.
You in partaking of communion, you're refreshing yourself and reminding yourself I'm entering into this agreement willingly, saying yes, I will be held to the parameters.
Of this covenant.
When I fail, I'm thankful for God's grace. I will repent and I will.
Come back and I.
Will walk with God and my heart.
Is going to be.
In pursuit of God, his will and his ways continually, let's hear the words of the covenant be refreshed and reminded in it, and renewed in our exclusive commitment to Jesus.
Anytime during the worship, you're free to go and grab those elements and partake on your own.
Between you and the Lord.