What does our God want from His people? What does He expect?
He desires and expects loyalty – as a husband expects it from his wife. Faithfulness to the one man to whom she is married.
God’s people are married to Him. He is the one who provides for them, protects them, and leads them. God is the husband and His people are the wife.
Yet there is adultery all over the land of Judah. At first, when the kingdom split between Israel and Judah, the latter was faithful. There was a long season when there would be good and bad kings, but there were some like Hezekiah and Josiah who brought back the ordinances of God and increased the faith in the land.
Those days were over. As Jeremiah speaks God’s words to the people, he has dire predictions. No longer will God contend with His people. They are committing adultery, and He is about to separate from them. When He does, they will be taken into captivity and lose their great nation He had provided. No longer His blessing. Now His judgment.
How can you tell when a nation has turned from God? They become extremely selfish, extremely proud, and extremely evil. No longer do they honor the ordinances placed into effect by their God; they replace these with those of other men. Reasoning replaces faith. Hearts become hard to the words of their God.
And sin reigns instead of righteousness.
These are sad days in the nation of Judah. They have been warned again and again, but the prophets who have spoken have been ignored. Some have been killed; others imprisoned. Anything to shut up the words from God.
Jeremiah is warning one last time – and telling them what is coming if they don’t repent.
You see, God has a special plan for this nation. From Judah is to come the Messiah who will be the salvation for all the world, but in this condition they couldn’t bring forth a Messiah. There aren’t enough people to even care about that. They are corrupt to the core.
I can’t read these words without thinking about our modern world – especially the United States. We were started as a Christian nation. Of course, we had some problems, but for the most part, our forefathers were devout Christians. In the Mayflower Compact, the Pilgrims dedicated the new land to the furtherance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When you look back, you realize that all of the Ivy League schools were started primarily as learning centers for those called to the ministry. If you walk the halls of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, you will see scriptures chiseled in the stone walls. One of my favorites inscribed at Harvard is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
What in the world has happened to our nation? Humanism, pride, arrogance. Man has raised himself higher than God.
If you think that you know more than God, or if you think that there isn’t a God, you are certainly in trouble. A nation that goes that way is headed for trouble – and lots of it.
Our positions of leadership and prosperity have been as a result of blessings from God.
Let’s pray for our nation. Let’s pray that our leaders will repent and humble themselves before the Mighty Hand of God. Let’s pray that arrogant ministers will turn back to God and that the people who call themselves by His name will repent also.
We need Him today in a mighty way!
I Timothy 4
From the chapters in Jeremiah, it’s an easy transition into this chapter in I Timothy.
“In the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…” (V. 1)
Now does that sound familiar? So what do we as believers do about it? Do we get up on a pedestal and rant?
I think not. I think that the changes have to come from hearts that are truly repentant before God, and no amount of ranting will cause those changes.
Don’t get me wrong. There will be times when ministers or individuals will get a bold word which God wants them to speak. That’s different. A Word for God in season will prick the hearts which are ready to receive from Him.
But until a bold word is given to us, we must pray and pray diligently. Ask God to give you a list of people to pray for. They may be those in authority, or they may be members of your own family. Or friends.
Then pray for them. Ask God to open the eyes of their hearts so that they can see the truth. Then speak God’s words into their situations.
Our God is looking for intercessors – those who will pray for His will to be done in the earth. His will is for our country and our world to turn back to Him – and for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be brought to all of the nations.
Let’s do our part!