Jeremiah 7, How To Stop The Judgment Of God
1. Stop Your Evil Thoughts And Deeds (v1-7)
2. Stop Trusting In Outward Religion (v8-15)
3. Stop Adding To Your Own Shame (v16-20)
4. Start Listening For Ways To Obey God (v21-27)
Jeremiah 7, How To Stop The Judgment Of God
Jeremiah 7, How To Stop The Judgment Of God
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Well, as we look at Jeremiah Chapter 7 this morning, we begin with a pop quiz.
What is the longest book of the Bible?
I don't know if you.
Maybe search through your memory banks a little.
Bit start thinking through, maybe from Genesis all the way through revelation.
What is the longest book?
Of the Bible.
And most people will suggest that it's the Book of Psalms because it has the most number of chapters. 150 chapters in the Book of Psalms, and so that is accurate.
If the measurement of the longest book is the most number of chapters, but there's other measurements to consider.
And you could count the number of words in each book, and so if you could take a moment and just do that count all the words in all the books and the whole Bible.
No other people have done that for us, and so in doing that, counting through the words of each book we find actually the book of Jeremiah is the longest book of the Bible.
33,000 and two words in the original Hebrew found in the Book of Jeremiah, compared to psalms, it's 30,100.
And 47 in fact, psalms by word count is not even the second largest. It's the third largest, and Genesis is what comes.
Second, in the list of longest books of the Bible by word Count, Genesis at 32,000, Jeremiah at 33,000, and then the Book of Psalms just barely has 30,000 words in it.
Now I find that significant not because there's good trivia answers there, and you could you know, win a prize or something later on.
But I find it significant because the Book of Jeremiah comes at a time in Israel history where the nation has been.
Split, they've been decaying greatly in their sin against God and rebellion against God and Jeremiah is the final opportunity.
He is the final messenger of the Lord to the Nation of Judah, giving them a chance to repent before they experience the judgments that God will bring upon them.
Through the nation of Babylon that will conquer the nation of Judah.
Take them all out captive, leaving just a very tiny remnant left in the land.
And so you can think about it when God, you know, kind of puts some priority in things by by length, by emphasis and the amount of content that he's making available, right?
We have the Book of Genesis a really important book in God.
Scriptures to us but but even more higher word counts than that is a book of.
A call to be forgiven.
A call to escape judgment.
A call to turn back from God.
A call of Mercy and grace to a people that have been resisting God and rebelling against God and fighting against God.
And God, showing patience and mercy and grace once more, with one last opportunity to repent.
One last opportunity to turn and get right with God and Experi.
Since the goodness and blessings that God wants to provide, and so God made sure, the longest book of the Bible really emphasizes this point.
This is the kind of God that we serve that although people are perpetually resisting him and running from him, he is to a greater degree seeking to reach out.
And to show patience and to give another opportunity to experience the goodness of God and so here in Jeremiah chapter Seven I've titled the message this morning, how to stop the judgment of God?
How to stop the judgment of God?
This is what Jeremiah is instructing the people in.
On behalf of God, God is the one giving him this message to teach the people the certain judgment that they're about to experience.
God-given them the key. Here's how to put a stop to that. Here's how to escape that judgment that is coming from the Lord. There is still opportunity.
To do that.
And no, it's not.
You know a Mission Impossible theme going on and some elaborate scheme that they have to do.
There's some very simple things that God will present to them.
It doesn't require special skills.
There's no incredible amounts of training involved.
They as a nation can experience relief.
From the judgment of God, with some very simple things, that God will speak to them through the prophet Jeremiah.
Here in Chapter 7.
Now talking about the judgment of God, how to stop the judgment of God here?
You know this is one of those messages that I can easily talk myself out of presenting on a Sunday morning because I can look around and I go, surely?
You know this person doesn't need to stop the judgment of God, surely?
You know, I, I look at you and I see you must be doing everything right.
You must be walking with God.
You must not have any sin issues or any areas of rebellion in your heart and.
Although I might look at you that way, the Lord looks at you and sees your heart and knows exactly what's going on within each one of us.
And and so I might talk myself out of this message while the Lord says no, no Jerry like they need to hear this.
There are people who need to hear this message.
The nation of.
Judah at this time?
Well, Jeremiah is called to deliver this message at the temple.
And it would almost be like you know, at the the gateway coming into church there would be this message.
This call to repentance of how to stop the judgment of God and and we could all easily think that well.
Of course, we don't need to hear this message because we're here at church.
Like why are you teaching a message about repentance at church?
Well, because the reality is.
People in the church need to repent.
And there there are times in each of our lives where this message really is pertinent to us and and where we need.
To make a change to put a stop to the judgment of God that is deserved and is on the way.
To break upon our lives, we all need it.
Because there's sin happening in our lives and rebellion taking place in our hearts.
We also need to hear this because, well, there's people that we're ministering to, and so we're learning from Jeremiah.
The nature of God and the the message to communicate to people in this condition.
And so as we interact with people who are in rebellion, this is.
Important material for us to understand and grasp hold of so that we can help pass on and express the heart of God to those who are in rebellion against God.
So the worst of the worst of the worst that we might interact with and so four points that we'll walk through this morning. How to stop the judgment of God Point #1.
Starting in verses one through 7.
Stop your evil thoughts and deeds.
If judgment is on the way, rightly earned and deserved because of rebellion against God, God says here's first and foremost put a stop to your evil thoughts and deeds.
Jumping into verse one and two, it says the Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said go to the entrance of the Lord's temple.
And give this message to the people.
Oh Judah, listen to this message from the Lord.
Listen to it all.
You who worship here.
Again, this is so important to grasp hold of because at the beginning God gives this message to Jeremiah.
He doesn't just give him a message, he tells him where to deliver the message and and specifically he's calling all of the people who come to the temple to worship.
And and that's one of the important aspects to understand about this.
That there are those who go to the temple or go to church to worship God.
Experience the judgment of God.
The things that are taking place in the lives of the people.
Are still going on the sin that is earning them the wrath of God and the judgment of God.
This is still going on, but they're still showing up for church on Sunday.
And it's really important to understand that showing up for church on Sunday does not.
Remove all the other aspects of our life.
Showing up to the temple for the Jewish people did not eliminate the judgment that was on its way because they were.
Pretending in their worship and that was demonstrated by their ongoing rebellion.
The rest of the week. Verse three goes on to say this is what the Lord of Heaven's armies, the God of Israel, says. Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay.
In your own land.
Even now, God says.
What does that mean even now?
Well, Jeremiah comes on the scene.
At the tail end.
Of the nation of Judah, they've been split from the nation of.
Israel, the northern Kingdom for almost 400 years.
They've been in rebellion for just about that amount of time.
And so after 400 years of rebellion, God says, OK, that's enough for a nation I'm going to.
Bring the judgment that they deserve.
I've withheld it long enough.
So now he's raised up Babylon.
Babylon has conquered the world and is set its eyes on Judah.
To be conquered next.
And so they're right at the edge.
The hour is late, you might say, but even now.
It's not too late.
Even now it's not truly if you quit your evil.
Ways God says.
If you will make a change right now, God says I will let you stay in your own land.
What's about to be unleashed on you is the conquering by the.
Nation of Babylon.
Who will then liquidate all of the.
People out of Judah and.
They will be moved to other parts of the the nation of Babylon, and God says, but.
That's what you deserve.
That's what you've earned.
It's right on the edge.
The hour is late.
But even now.
I'm giving you an opportunity.
That doesn't have to happen.
I'll let you stay in your own land.
And so, how how?
How is this going to take place?
What is the opportunity that God is giving them?
He says if you quit your evil ways.
Again, these are people at the temple.
And God finds it necessary to say.
If you quit your evil ways.
I won't bring the judgments upon you that you deserve.
There are people in the temple.
There are people in the church.
That need to quit their evil ways.
Verse four goes on to say.
But don't be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the Lord.
's temple is here.
They chant the Lord's temple is here. The Lord's temple is here.
One of the.
Deceptions that the nation of Judah experience was the fact that the physical temple was in their presence.
They were convinced that gave them supernatural power.
Action in their mind it was like, well, God would never allow his holy temple to be defiled or destroyed.
And so as long as we have the temple here, we're safe because God is going to protect this temple.
And as long as we stay close to the temple, then will be protected along with the temple.
But God says, don't be fooled.
By those who promise that kind of safety.
Don't be fooled into thinking that this physical building.
This physical place is some kind of protection for evil and wickedness that you can just engage in whatever you want and live however you want, and disregard what God says.
As long as you come back to this physical place and then.
You know everything is just forgotten and forgiven, and and everything is good as long as you come back here.
Related this to children playing hide and go seek right as long as you get to the place that's safe.
You tag it.
OK, I'm safe.
I can't get out now.
Now, if you leave the place that's safe and you're running around and you, you could get tired.
You get oh but OK.
I touched the pulpit.
Pulpit safe so I touched the pulpit.
And it's not like you and I can just live.
However we want to live all week long and then come to church.
And as long as.
We touch the pulpit.
That is not the way that God works and don't be fooled by those who promise.
Such things God says.
To the people of Judah to us.
We need to understand.
There is opportunity for forgiveness that is for sure there is opportunity to escape judgment, but it's not through external things and we'll see that even more in just a moment.
It's not through religion and rituals.
We can't allow those things to kind of harbor our wickedness.
This is not just a Old Testament principle.
This is not just something for the nation of Judah, only you know in the old covenant type of relationship, consider what the apostle Paul said in Ephesians Chapter 5.
He says let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you.
Such sins have no place among God's people.
Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes.
These are not for you.
Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
You can be sure that no immoral, impure or greedy person will inherit the.
Kingdom of Christ and of God.
For a greedy person, is an idolater.
Worshipping the things of this world.
Don't be fooled by those who try.
To excuse these sins.
For the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him.
Notice, Paul says.
Through Jeremiah here by the Lord.
Don't be fooled, there's an abundance of deception surrounding this idea of an allowance for wickedness.
Given certain provisions in our lives, as long as we go to church, as long as we, you know, touch the pulpit, as long as we read the Bible every day, as long as we there, there are these things that are built up inside of us and sometimes proclaimed to us.
And there's a danger of us being fooled.
So that we make excuse for sins and we permit them and we allow them to continue and we tolerate them in our lives, and they continue to be part of our practice and part of our week and part of our day.
Are fooled into thinking that we're OK.
But Paul makes it very clear.
No immoral person and pure person.
Greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Stop your evil thoughts and deeds.
It's the message through Jeremiah.
It's the message through the apostle Paul.
It's the message we need to be reminded of from time to time because we can become fooled into thinking that.
Our behavior is OK, our situation is OK.
We haven't seen any real negative results and look here we are back at Church on Sunday morning so.
I think it's going to be OK.
I think we're good.
OK, all right this is this is good news.
I can live that way I can engage in that and I can participate in those things.
And it seems like.
Nothing bad is going to.
Happen God is OK with it.
Continuing on in Jeremiah 7, verse five says.
But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating others or each other with justice.
Notice the word only.
God says I will be merciful.
Yes Hallelujah, we all rejoice in the mercy of God.
I will be merciful only.
If you stop.
Only if you stop there is a condition on the mercy of God and it's if you stop.
God says stop your evil thoughts and deeds.
He says it over and over again in verse six only if you stop exploiting foreigners only if you silence your cell phone only if you stop your murdering and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshipping idols only.
There's a condition here.
Mercy is an amazing characteristic of God, where he withholds judgment that is deserved.
And we need the mercy of God, and we celebrate the mercy of God.
But here the Lord wants to remind us mercy is not given just Willy nilly with no concern.
For the behavior that's involved now that it's not that there's something so bad that God's mercy.
Can't cover it.
It's that the heart that is insistent on continuing in sin.
Doesn't receive the mercy of God.
God can distinguish, and he can parse and understand.
This person is experiencing a failure of weakness.
And has come to me for mercy and I will be merciful.
Versus this person is intending on and continuing to engage in this sin and coming to me for mercy.
God says, I'm not bound.
I don't have to show that mercy.
I choose not to.
When the heart is set.
On evil thoughts and deeds.
When the heart is planning and preparing and engaging in evil thoughts and deeds and and not concerned about changing not concerned about stopping.
God says that's not the heart that will receive my mercy.
But there are those.
Who convince themselves?
Well, I can engage in this.
Because, oh man, God's grace and his mercy. I just have to ask for forgiveness afterwards.
And there are times where we engage in activity.
We engage in behavior.
We go into a situation deliberately with the intention with the understanding I'm going to ask for forgiveness afterwards and God is gracious and merciful.
And he will forgive me.
The apostle Paul, dealing with the similar mindset in Romans Chapter 6.
Says should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of?
His wonderful grace.
Of course not.
Since we have died to send, how can we continue to live in it?
Earlier on in chapter three of Romans, Paul says look some people Slanderously accuse us of saying hey, just continue on in sin so that God's grace may abound more and more and good can come.
Out of it.
Paul says that is not our message.
Our message is never it's OK.
Keep living in sin.
Keep going on in sin because God is merciful and gracious.
No, the message is God is merciful and gracious, no matter how bad you've failed, no matter how far you've gone.
God's mercy and Grace is available to you as you call out to him. Only if you stop.
If you make a change.
If you turn to God and stop continuing that behavior in that mindset.
Well then some will kind of wrestle with this and go.
Well, isn't that.
Works, then now it's a workspace relationship.
It's not works, it's not earning God's mercy and it's.
Not earning God Greece.
If you stop right now.
You are still owed the judgment.
You have still earned the judgment and the wrath of God for all of that previous sin, and so if you stop right now.
No, you still need mercy.
Because there's still judgment, that's due.
If you stop right now.
You still do not deserve God goodness going forward and God good works on your behalf and God's blessings imported into your life if you stop right now, you still don't deserve that and you could never earn that.
And so it's not about works earning God mercy and earning God's grace, but it's about understanding that mercy and grace are not just given to the heart that is continuing on in rebellion, that mercy and grace is given by God to those.
Who are repentant, who are stopping and putting an end to those evil thoughts and deeds?
And then some will wrestle well.
What if I can't stop perfectly?
Because I want to stop, but then I find myself.
Falling short again and so now maybe I haven't received God's mercy and grace and and there is this struggle that happens, but grace and mercy exists exactly for this occasion for failures.
For a heart that is intending to know God and walk with God, and draw near to God but fall short, God, Grace and mercy is abundant and exceedingly abundant.
Beyond even the failures.
But God's grace and mercy is not for deliberate lifestyles of sin.
God's Grace and mercy is not for an ongoing, deliberate choice.
To engage in sinful practices and behaviors.
Even in this late hour.
They've built up.
A huge reserve of judgment that is about to break and just.
Fall upon them.
But God says it's not too late.
Even in this late hour.
If you will stop your evil thoughts and deeds.
Verse seven then I will let you stay in.
This land that I.
Gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
I'm giving you a chance.
To experience my mercy in Greece to escape.
The judgment that's about to fall upon you, and it doesn't mean that they would escape all consequences for all of their sin, but.
But they would not experience the fullness of that judgment.
They would not experience the liquidation of the land in Babylon, taking all of the nation captive.
God says here's an opportunity to stop the judgment.
That you're about to experience.
Stop your evil thoughts and deeds right now.
You're just continuing in them.
You're fostering them.
You're allowing them, but you're still showing up at church.
You're still showing up at the temple trying to pretend like those don't exist.
Trying to pretend like that makes up for.
That is living out in rebellion against God.
It's not going to work.
You need to stop.
You need to make a change.
Moving onto verses 8 through 15, we get the second point this morning and that is stopped trusting an outward religion.
Stop trusting an outward religion.
Verse 8 says.
Don't be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the temple is here.
It's a lie.
Do you really think that you can steal, murder, commit, adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours?
And then come here and stand before me in my temple.
In chance we are safe.
Only to go right back to all those evils again.
Don't you yourselves admit that this temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves?
I see all the evil going on there.
I the Lord.
God here is giving a very clear warning watch.
Out, don't be fooled.
Right now they're being fooled into thinking they were protected and that they will not suffer because the temple is there and they're at the temple.
I'm at the temple, so I'm protected.
But what's going on?
The rest of the week?
God leaves it out for them in verse 9 and 10.
They're committing adultery.
They're lying, they're worshipping other gods.
And so their lives are filled with rebellion against God.
But then they come before God, and they think all right, we're safe.
I touched the pulpit.
Judgment can't reach me, enemy can't get me I'm safe.
'cause I showed up for church.
God says no, it doesn't work that way.
You can't live.
However, you want to engage in all kinds of sin and rebellion against God and show up and then think, well, that just.
Makes up for it all.
Is an important part of our relationship with God and walk with God.
But if it doesn't reflect the reality of our heart, then it's just outward religion.
It's a ritual that we're practicing.
It's an outward show that we're putting on.
It's an outward thing that we're we're doing, but if it doesn't reflect the heart, then it doesn't have any value.
Jesus warned the religious leaders very sternly about this in Matthew Chapter 23.
He says to the Pharisees, what sorrow awaits you?
Teachers of religious law and you Pharisees, hypocrites for you're so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish.
But inside you are filthy.
Full of greed and self indulgence.
You blind Pharisee first wash the inside of the cup and the dish and then the outside will become clean too.
The religious leaders were very diligent in their outward expressions of their religion, but Jesus, looking beyond the outward expressions, saw the heart and said I can see the outside of the cup is clean really good job polishing that cup but.
You've neglected the inside and inside you are filthy inside.
You're filthy full of greed and self indulgence.
You're consumed with yourself, you're full of pride, you are.
Filthy inside, but you do such elaborate efforts to have the outside presentable and clean.
And so they would show up at the temple.
Much like the.
People of Judah and Jeremiah's day.
Thinking all right, we're safe.
We're clean on the outside.
But meanwhile, their hearts were harboring.
Things that were filthy, greed and self indulgence.
For the nation of Judah it was greed and self indulgence and murder, and adultery and lying and the worship of other gods.
This is not something that is foreign to us today.
And this is something that every one of us is vulnerable to.
It's a beautiful thing to experience the grace and.
Mercy of God.
There's something strange about us that.
Has a tendency to gravitate.
From the grace and mercy of God, to this outward religious ritual that we can get caught up in.
Where there's not the real connection with God any longer, there's not the real relationship with God, but.
We kind of gravitate towards cleaning the outside of the cup and leaving the inside completely filthy.
And the result is when we gather together verse 11, he says, don't you you yourselves admit that this temple which bears my name has?
Become a den.
So here's the temple.
It bears the name of the Lord on the outside of the cup.
It looks great, but it's become a den of thieves.
Inside it's filthy.
Reference this verse at Matthew Chapter 21.
When he makes the whip and drives out of the temple, the people buying and selling the animals for sacrifice and turning over the tables of the moneychangers.
And Jesus said, my temple will be called the House of Prayer, but you've turned it into a den of thieves.
Knowing the context in the background, there, the religious leaders were there in the temple courts selling these things and exchanging these things not to help people connect to God, but to make a profit out of greed and self indulgence.
This den of thieves.
Existed in Jeremiah Day it existed in Jesus Day.
It exists today.
There are those who gathered together, but.
And internally the heart.
Is not changed, it's not transformed.
And people are trusting that outward religious activity to make up for to compensate.
For the ongoing sin issues in their lives moving on to verse 12 and 13, it says go now to the police at Shiloh, where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name.
See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites.
While you were doing these wicked things as the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly.
But you would not listen.
I called you out.
I called out of.
I'm sorry I called out to you, but you refused to hand.
God says, OK, let's think about this in your history and he's calling the nation to think back in their history to what happened at Shiloh.
Now Shiloh, here's a quick look at the map.
When the nation was split into Shiloh, was part of the Northern Kingdom, but it was part of the nation.
From the beginning it was a city a little bit north of Jerusalem, in the land that was given to.
The Tribe of Ephraim.
And this was the place.
Where God had the people of Israel first set up the Tabernacle inside the promised land.
Remember, in the wilderness after they left Sinai, God would move them around.
They would set up the Tabernacle from place to place as they camped when they moved into the promised land.
Joshua Chapter 18 tells us now that Israel was conquered the land that God had promised to them.
They had taken it.
Now they gathered together at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.
And so the original Tabernacle Moses received off of Mount Sinai really significant.
Designed with the specifications received directly from God.
Very important significant thing the Tabernacle was for the people of Israel and now as they enter into the promised land.
It's set up there in Shiloh.
Now this is.
Quite a while back in Israel history, if you look at the timeline we're looking at Jeremiah right towards the end of the nation of Judah right before the Babylonian captivity, and so that gap, right?
There is the 70 year captivity, and Jeremiah ministered for about 40 years leading up and right into that captivity.
But Joshua was all the way back in, you know, like the 1400s BC, that was like a.
My math is not great, so like.
Six 1400 - 600 is yeah. 1800 now 800 years earlier, we're talking about the Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh.
Now the Tabernacle stayed in Shiloh for a good amount of time, almost 400 years. The Tabernacle was in Shiloh until first Samuel Chapter 4.
And you might remember when the children of Israel went to battle with the Philistines and they lost.
And they said, how could we lose?
Oh, we need to get.
Our good luck charm.
The Ark of the Covenant and take that into battle with us.
And so they went and got the Ark of the Covenant.
They took that into battle with them.
They lost the battle.
They lost the.
Ark of the Covenant.
Later on it was returned to them, but during that time.
The the police Shiloh was dismantled.
It was conquered by the Philistines.
Never to be the place of the Tabernacle like it once was.
And they wouldn't really have a place like the Tabernacle until later on when King David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem.
Prepared the way for Solomon to build the temple there.
For 400 years they had this place Shiloh, where they would meet with God where they would experience God, where they would worship God.
But in first Samuel Chapter 4, the spiritual condition of the nation is poor.
Very relatable to what Jeremiah is dealing with in ministering to the people of Judah in his day.
And in their rebellion against God got allowed for the Ark of the Covenant to be captured.
He allowed for the Tabernacle to be dismantled.
He allowed for Shiloh to be destroyed.
And then just recently that is like 200 years prior to Jeremiah.
The nation of Assyria conquered the northern Kingdom, and so Shiloh was double destroyed.
And so, in Jeremiah Day, he says, let's look at Shiloh Shiloh, this important place filled with important artifacts given by God on the mountain Mount Sinai.
Like you can't get more significant than that.
But verse 14 God says so, just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this temple that bears my name.
This temple that you trust in for help.
This place that I gave to you and your ancestors, and I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.
And so God here.
Calls them to think about Shiloh.
To make the point.
The people in the days of Shiloh would have thought we're protected.
Like we can't lose.
That's why we need the Ark of the Covenant. 'cause then we can't lose the battle. They would have thought we have these artifacts that were delivered by God fashioned by God-given by his specific measurements.
And Oh my goodness, the Tabernacle is so significant to God were protected and preserved just by the very presence.
But they were involved in all kinds of sinfulness and.
These precious things that God had prepared for them.
They meant nothing any longer.
Because of the hearts of the people weren't actually reflecting.
The outward expression of their religion.
Pastor Warren Wisby says God could protect his holy temple if he desired.
But his temple in Jerusalem was no longer holy.
It was a den of thieves.
Better there was no temple at all.
Then that hypocrisy should desecrate God house.
Better, there's no temple at all.
Than to have a temple filled with hypocrisy.
Better, there's no temple at all, he says.
I mean, that's pretty radical.
We could think of a church God would never let the church.
Disappear, fail, fall.
God would never let the church in America fall.
We might think we might feel like some kind of safety or connection there, but.
There's a precedent God could say.
You know I'd rather not have a church in America at all than to have one that's filled with hypocrisy and den of thieves.
I'd rather not have a church on the corner of Lincoln and railroad at all than to have one that's.
Filled with hypocrisy and is a den of thieves.
That's just involved in the outward religion.
We we can get so caught up in that and and church attendance.
Can be for us like some kind of good luck charm.
And we can be really impressed with how faithful we are and and think that it's a big enough effort.
The God would say stop trusting in outward religion.
Stop trusting in those external things.
And make sure that you have a heart.
That is in line with God In Sync with God and drawing nearer to God.
We're moving on to point #3. Verse 16.
Stop adding to your own shame.
God says pray no more for these people, Jeremiah, do not weep or pray for them, and don't beg me to help them, for I will not listen to you.
Don't you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
No wonder I'm so angry.
Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires.
See how the women need dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of heaven and they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods.
Am I the one they're hurting?
Ask the Lord.
Most of all, they hurt themselves to their own shame.
So this is what the sovereign Lord says.
I will pour out my terrible fury on this place.
Its people, animals, trees and crops will be consumed by the unquenchable fire of my anger.
It's very interesting here God tells Jeremiah.
Praying for these people.
Moments earlier he said go preach this message.
But now he tells.
Them stop praying, pray no more for these people.
They continue to insist.
On their sinfulness, they continue to insist on their ways.
Jeremiah, you don't need to pray for them anymore.
They are going to experience.
Because that is their choice.
Now you still need to preach the message Jeremiah and they really do have an opportunity to repent.
Help Solomon a few verses, but don't expect them to actually do that.
I always find it interesting how God knows in events they're not going to respond.
But he still gives the opportunity anyways.
He's still going to be gracious and merciful and giving the opportunity even when he knows.
Nobody will receive it and nobody will take it.
You know, sometimes we talk ourselves out of things.
Because we already anticipate I already know what they're going to say.
I already know how they're going to respond.
I would encourage you to just take a moment to learn from the example of.
God sometimes people need to hear something, even if you know how they're going to respond.
Sometimes people need to be given an invitation and an opportunity.
Even if you are already convinced they will not receive it.
And we don't like the rejection.
We don't like, you know that that negative response, and so we will talk ourselves out.
Of it, but.
Here God says no no.
It's important when a message needs to be delivered, you still deliver it.
You still give the opportunity.
You still give the invitation.
But Jeremiah, you need to understand the whole family is involved.
The children are out gathering wood.
The women are kneading the dough.
The fathers are building the the sacrificial fires, and they're they're all involved.
This idolatry and wickedness reaches to the core of every family, and the whole family is involved in the worship of the Queen of Heaven.
Probably the one of the gods of Babylon, or there's been many other suggestions about who the Queen of Heaven might be, but.
The point is, they're all involved.
They're all together, and God says.
Are they hurting me?
Most of all, they hurt themselves.
They're adding shame.
And that's the reality of sin.
We don't really hurt God with our sin.
He hurts on our behalf.
He hurts because sin hurts us and that's why he's called it sin.
It's ourselves that we hurt.
It's ourselves that we destroy.
In Romans chapter 6, the apostle Paul calls us to think back and reflect when you were sleeved sacin you were free from the obligation to do right, and what was the result?
You are now ashamed of the things you used to do things that end in eternal doom.
Now you're ashamed of that behavior.
And the shameful thing is now to continue on.
And things that you will be ashamed of.
God says stop adding to your shame.
Stop adding things in your life that later on you're going to be ashamed because.
You knew it was wrong.
You knew it was destroying your life.
But she continued anyways.
You knew what God said.
But she carried on without regard.
Stop adding to your own.
Well, finally verses 21 through 27.
Gives us point #4. Start listening for ways to obey God. Verse 21 this is what the Lord of heavens armies the God of Israel says take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves.
When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices.
I wanted from them.
This is what I told them.
Obey me and I will be your God, and you will be my people.
Do everything as I say and all will be well.
God says, look going back to the beginning what I desired for the people as I brought them out of Egypt was.
And God did set up the sacrificial system there at Mount Sinai.
But that wasn't the primary thing.
He just I didn't bring you guys out to offer sacrifices.
'cause I needed sacrifices.
That was an expression of your obedience.
That was an aspect of your obedience, but.
The issue itself was not the sacrifices and what God is telling them to do here in verse 21 he.
Says take your burnt offerings and eat them.
That's significant because burnt offerings were not an offering that the people would eat.
There are many offerings, sacrifices that the people would eat and were meant to be a fellowship event with the Lord.
But the burnt offering was to be entirely consumed and not eaten at all.
But God says, look, you might as well eat it and don't waste the meat.
Enjoy it you.
Know have a good BBQ well because what you're doing is meaningless.
This burnt offering sacrifice is meaningless if it doesn't reflect a heart that is desiring to be fully given over to God.
And so you're going through the outward motion you're putting on this great show.
The burnt sacrifice looks great, but it actually doesn't mean anything to God.
If it's not an expression of.
The heart, so you might as well eat it.
The point was got one was not that God wanted them to eat the meat.
The point was it doesn't mean anything unless it means something.
Unless it's accurate in representing your heart.
To the Lord.
What God was after.
Was there obedience?
100 years before the prophet Jeremiah the Prophet Micah.
Was on the scene.
Calling people to repentance earlier on in their history.
And they said, what can we bring?
To the Lord, should we bring him burnt offerings?
Should we bow before God most high with offerings of yearly cat or yearling calves?
Should we offer him thousands of Rams and 10,000 rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our first born children to pay for our sins?
No people the Lotus told you what is good and what he requires of you to do.
What is right?
To love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
God doesn't want you to try to pee back or make up for your sin.
In that way, offering some kind of great sacrifice or some kind of big todo.
To start listening to what he's saying.
Start finding those ways.
To be obedient to him and to draw near to him.
Verse 24 but my people would not listen to me.
They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. Verse 25.
From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my servants the prophets day in and day out, but my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear.
They have been stubborn and sinful even worse than their ancestors.
Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen.
Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond again.
He says, tell him, Jeremiah.
They're not going to listen.
They're not going to respond, but tell them they need the opportunity.
It's important that they're given the opportunity.
To start listening to God.
To start listening.
To the things that God is inviting them to, to have the opportunity to receive the forgiveness of God and the.
Grace of God.
And so here through the prophet Jeremiah, we're given some important insights how to stop the judgment of God.
I pray this isn't something that is a necessary message for you right now.
But the reality is, it might be.
And so if that's the case, stop your evil thoughts and deeds.
Make a change.
Mercy and Grace is available if you stop, and only if you stop.
Only if you make a change only if there's repentance do you experience the forgiveness of God.
The Mercy and grace of God.
Stop your evil thoughts indeed.
Stop trusting an outward religion.
Don't just go through the motions and put on the show externally.
But only engage in those things as they reflect the reality of your heart.
Stop adding to your shame, doing the things that you know are wrong and will bring you shame leaders.
Change and do not continue in those patterns and instead invest yourself in listening.
For ways to obey God to hear what he has to say.
God is always willing.
To relent, the judgment that is about to come look at the city of Nineveh.
As example Jonah didn't want to go to Nineveh because he knew this very fact about God.
There was a way to stop the.
Judgment of God.
And he was like I don't want them to have that chance I.
Don't want them to have that opportunity.
Nineveh was 40 days away from destruction.
The judgment of God.
And they heard the message of Jonah.
And they repented, and the Lord relented.
It's how God works.
Stop the judgment of God.
Again, if this applies to you directly right now.
I pray that it doesn't, but if it does, if this is something that the Lord is speaking to you, or you need to make a change because the judgment of God is not something that you want to experience.
Just to close up with the final couple comments, change always has a starting point.
You gotta make a choice, you gotta.
Make a decision.
It always has.
It doesn't just happen accidentally.
Change has a starting point.
You gotta decide.
As for me and my house, we will.
Serve the Lord.
I've decided to follow Jesus.
No turning back, no.
Turning back right it.
Always has a starting point at the same time.
Decisions to change are not usually one big decision.
For all time.
Decisions to change are usually thousands of decisions that are made every day to continue.
To change to continue to draw near to God and to turn away from sin.
It's not a one time, once for all type of thing.
It's a ongoing.
I'm going to draw near to the Lord.
I'm going to.
Put away the things of the flesh and I'm going to fill my life with the things of the spirit.
Also, you need to understand you cannot change without God's help. Let's not change all this. Get all this put together so that then you can come to God.
Now it's you come to God now with the heart and the desire to change and you ask God to change you.
And then tomorrow you wake up again and you come to God.
And you ask God to change you.
And then at lunchtime tomorrow, you come back to God.
And you say, God I.
Need to change change me.
And it's the work of God that we're looking to receive.
And it's that we the look the work of God that we desperately need, and so.
Change always has a starting point.
It's not one big decision. It's 1000 decisions.
You can't change without God's help, and finally.
The results of change are seen gradually understand.
You make a decision.
You draw near to the Lord and instantly you have right relationship with the Lord.
You may not see the full impact of that in your life.
It takes some time.
Give it some time.
And those things that God is doing in your life.
Will become more and more apparent as you walk with him.
Let's pray, Lord, I pray for each one of us and God I pray for a halting for us, stopping of your judgment in our lives.
Lord, where we have been out of line where we have been engaged in things that are not of you.
Where we Lord, have earned and deserved your wrath.
I pray that you would help us Lord to recognize that to see it clearly.
And to make a change to call upon you with hearts that are humble and willing to receive from you.
Instruction direction correction.
And the mercy and grace that we desperately need.
Lord, I pray.
That you would draw us nearer to you, transform us into your image.
That we might experience, not your judgment, but all of your blessings and the glory that you want to bestow upon us.
I pray this in Jesus name.