Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - Nov 22
- For the Beauty of the Earth
- Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
- Jer 7:16-29Last week we read Jeremiah’s temple sermon given to God’s people, but nobody listened. Hopefully some of you listened but when Jeremiah first gave the sermon nobody did.“When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you. Therefore, declare to them, ‘This is the nation that would not listen to the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished—it has disappeared from their mouths.Jeremiah preached as best as he knew how, that the people needed to repent but nobody listened. And as God knew they would, a few minutes after they heard the message, they went right back to their homes to live as they always lived.So what should Jeremiah do next?Don’t PrayYou’d think that the best thing for him to do would be to pray.After Moses came down from Mount Sinai and found the people worshiping a golden calf, he prayed and he told the people to pray.During David’s reign when God was about to send judgement upon his people, he told the people to pray.And, all the other prophets, like Isaiah and Malachi, when they found out that God was going to bring judgement upon his people they fell on their knees and prayed for God’s mercy.But that’s not what Jeremiah is told to do.“As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not offer a cry or a prayer on their behalf, and do not beg me, for I will not listen to you.And this isn’t the only time God said this to Jeremiah.“As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to me at the time of their disaster.Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people.Now, in order of us to make sense of it we need to realize there are two things that God knew but Jeremiah didn’t.First, God knew, absolutely, that the people of Israel were not going to repent. And second, God knew that His mind was made up to punish His people.Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Look, my anger—my burning wrath—is about to be poured out on this place, on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.”God had already decided and His will was set. Therefore to pray against God’s will would have been wrong.And there’s a good lesson for us in this.See, God was disciplining His people, not just punishing them. Remember, as we read back in chapter one, and elsewhere, God’s purpose was to first tear down his people before building them back up.Like silver is refined in a fire, his people were going through a purifying process meant to do them good. And all the while God was being glorified in what he was doing.So, it would be wrong to pray that God would cut the process short in order to grant his people temporary relief, and only a partial refinement, and only limited glory to God.It doesn’t do any good to pray against God’s will.And we need to remember this when we pray for our family and our country. Often we pray that God will remove suffering, which of course I’m not saying we should never do, but we need to be careful that we aren’t praying for God to remove the very means he is using to sanctify our loved ones or bring a country to its senses.So, maybe this helps us understand God’s command to Jeremiah not to pray. But we need to also remember, perhaps most of all, that God’s command to Jeremiah is different than His command to us.This side of the cross we are told to pray all the time “without ceasing.” This side of the cross their is never a time when prayer is inappropriate. And I hope that this week, during our Thanksgiving celebrations, we will be especially more diligent to pray in our homes.First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all those who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.This side of the cross no sinner is beyond the reach of God’s grace. God desires all kinds of men and women to be saved. So we should pray for the salvation of all kinds of men and women.Home WorshipThis brings us to the question of why the people of Israel were beyond the hope of prayer. Scripture tells us that they had fallen so far because they were not worshiping God in their homes.Don’t you see how they behave in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of heaven, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke me to anger.Until reading the end of the last sentence their home-life seems ideal, like something out of the Leave It to Beaver TV show during the 50’s. TThe sons are gathering the wood, the fathers are lighting the fire, and the women are in the kitchen cooking the meal. Sounds like a perfect Thanksgiving Day! Good old fashioned family time!But that’s not how God saw it. What He saw was idolatry. Their family time wasn’t focused on worshiping God it was focused on serving idols, specifically the queen of heaven and other gods that provoked the one true God’s anger.Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: “Look, my anger—my burning wrath—is about to be poured out on this place, on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.”So, God had had enough of their idolatry at home. It was sickening to him how they could just go about their daily lives without honoring their Creator.But their lack of proper worship didn’t just stay at home in continued on into the temple, too. And, here’s what God says about that...This is what the Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves,In other words, God is saying don’t even bother giving me your offerings. It’s like telling us to keep our tithes and offerings and go get a burger from Wendy's instead. After all, that’s what you’d rather do, right?God sounds upset with His people but with good reason.for when I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice. However, I did give them this command: ‘Obey me, and then I will be your God, and you will be my people. Follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you.’It’s not that offerings are bad but what God really wants is an obedient heart. What was the first thing God did after bringing them out of Egypt? Was it rules about sacrifices? No. He gave them the Ten Commandments because obedience to God is at the heart of a relationship with Him.So God’s people were busy doing what they wanted to do and there was no proper worship at home which led to a lack of true worship in public worship, too.The people were just going through the motions like we sometimes do on Sunday or when holiday’s like Thanksgiving or Christmas come around. We need to get...Back To BasicsBut before we do that we need to do the opposite of cerebration. Jeremiah’s word’s to God’s people weren’t meant to give them warm fuzzy feelings. They were meant to make them sad.Cut off the hair of your sacred vow and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, for the Lord has rejected and abandoned the generation under his wrath.’This may be a strange verse to focus on this Thanksgiving but perhaps it’s exactly what our country and our families need to be thinking about this week.Israel wasn’t a thankful people even though they had recieved God’s protection, God’s provision, and God’s love. Instead, they had a woe is me attitude and didn’t want to deal with the truth of their sinfulness. So they gathered the wood, made a big fire, cooked the food and had a big celebration all in an effort to create a different reality that ignored their sinfulness.When we aren’t truthful we can’t really be thankful.Therefore, declare to them, ‘This is the nation that would not listen to the Lord their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has perished—it has disappeared from their mouths.Truth had vanished in their homes and in their speech as it has for the most part in our own homes and churches, too.Most Christians see accepting the truth as a problem everyone else has, but Os Guinness is one writer who sees things as they really are:“Contemporary evangelicals are no longer people of truth.… A solid sense of truth is foundering in America at large. Vaporized by critical theories, obscured by clouds of euphemism and jargon, outpaced by humor and hype, overlooked for style and image, and eroded by advertising, truth in America is anything but marching on.”“With magnificent exceptions, evangelicals reflect this truth decay and reinforce it for their own variety of reasons for discounting theology. Repelled by “seminary theology” that is specialized, professionalized, and dry, evangelicals are attracted by movements that have replaced theology with emphases that are relational, therapeutic, charismatic, and managerial (as in church growth). Whatever their virtues, none of these emphases gives truth and theology the place they require in the life and thought of a true disciple.” —Os GuinnessAnd I think Jeremiah would agree with him. We are not a people of the truth but a people who love to make exceptions to God’s clear commands and prefer fuzzy, self-promoting, feel good words to reality.So will you give truth and the worship God the place they require in your home? Let me ask it a different way, do you want to see reformation come to America and revival to the church? It starts in the hidden life of the home. It starts in your apartment, in your house, in your car, or wherever you call home.It starts where you live by beginning each day with prayer and Bible reading and then continues throughout the day as we worship through our words of thanksgiving and obedient attitudes.It starts at home. And if you are not worshiping the one true God in the name of Jesus Christ at home, then you are certainly worshipping something else.Maybe it’s NASCAR, or the Broncos, or keeping up with the latest news, or sitcom, but rest assured if you are not worshiping God during the week then you are worshipping something or more likely many things.This is Thanksgiving week and perhaps instead of focusing on the meal and all the traditional things we like to think of, our time would be better spent repenting for our lack of worship at home. Then, after receiving God’s forgiveness we will be truly thankful as God’s people aught to be.
1 Timothy 2:1–4KJV1900
- I Need Thee Every Hour
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