Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - May 2
  • Faith Is the Victory
  • I Surrender All
  • Doxology
  • (Jeremiah 11:1-17)
    Have you ever agreed to the terms and conditions of software or a website without reading them?
    You know what I’m talking about. You click the button saying you’ve read the whole thing and you agree but you really have no idea what you just agreed too. For all we know we just agreed to give them every last dime we own. Probably not...but maybe.
    But in the case of Jeremiah, the terms and conditions of the covenant were well-known. They knew what they had agreed to.
    Jeremiah 11:1–3 ESV
    The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. You shall say to them, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant
    The word “hear” in the ESV doesn’t mean to just listen. It means to obey. This is one of the places where both the KJV and the NIV do a better job of capturing the intended meaning.
    So what were the conditions of the covenant? “Cursed be the man who does not hear the words of this covenant...”
    Jeremiah 11:4 ESV
    that I commanded your fathers when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Listen to my voice, and do all that I command you. So shall you be my people, and I will be your God,

    Complete Obedience

    Complete obedience was what the Israelites were to give God. They were to do all that the Lord commanded them to do. 90% wasn’t good enough. God expected them to do 100% of what he asked them to do.
    God’s part of the covenant was giving the Israelites himself. The Israelites gave God their complete obedience and God gave them and intimate relationship with himself.

    Intimacy with God

    The end of verse 4 says, “So shall you be my people, and I will be your God.”
    This is the greatest promise in all of Scripture because there is nothing greater than belonging to God. Aletha and I attended a church many years ago with the motto “a place to belong.” That’s partly right. Belonging to a group of people at church is great, but the greatest thing is belonging to God and that’s what God promised to give them, himself.
    But God promises...

    Material Blessings

    In verse 5 he says,
    Jeremiah 11:5 ESV
    that I may confirm the oath that I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day.” Then I answered, “So be it, Lord.”
    “A land flowing with milk and honey” is a way of saying you shall want for nothing. It signifies a rich and prosperous life. It’s a land of complete blessing and freedom for everyone.
    So the covenant required complete obedience on Israel’s part and complete unrestrained blessing on God’s part.
    But if Israel didn’t keep their part of the covenant instead of blessings there would be curses.

    "So be it, Lord”

    Jeremiah said “Amen” to perfect obedience. He said “Amen” to the curses for failing to obey. He said amen to all of the blessings if he did obey.
    And remember Jeremiah said “So be it, Lord” not just for himself but for all of God’s people. God said to him,
    Jeremiah 11:2 ESV
    “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
    The terms of the covenant were shared with all of God’s people. Verse 6,
    Jeremiah 11:6 ESV
    And the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem: Hear the words of this covenant and do them.
    Really, Jeremiah was just reminding them of what the had already agreed to. When Josiah rediscovered the Book of the Law he read the covenant and reminded them of their oath and were told in 2 Kings 23:3 that “all the people joined in the covenant.”
    Going back further, Deuteronomy 27 lists what they were agreeing to and the specific things they would be cursed for.
    Cursed is the person who makes an idol.
    Cursed is the person who dishonors his father or mother.
    Cursed is the person who treats the refugee, the fatherless, or the widow unkindly.
    Cursed is the person who commits sexual sin.
    Cursed is person who murders his neighbor.
    After being told about each one of these curses they people always said “Amen, so be it, Lord.” There are several more curses listed in chapter 27 of Deuteronomy but verse 26 is the last one...
    Deuteronomy 27:26 ESV
    “ ‘Cursed be anyone who does not confirm the words of this law by doing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
    The people had been warned. They knew what they were agreeing to and they said Amen. So be it, Lord. What else could they say? God has every right to demand our obedience and to punish us when we disobey. Don’t you agree?
    God has given us life. He is our Creator and we owe him everything so there really is only one right response to God’s covenant with us. “So be it, Lord.”
    So how did it work out for Israel? Did they keep the terms of the covenant? Not hardly.

    Broken Covenant

    No, they didn’t keep it. Instead they became hardhearted, idolatrous, false worshipers.
    Jeremiah 11:7 ESV
    For I solemnly warned your fathers when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, warning them persistently, even to this day, saying, Obey my voice.
    Everyone walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart which doesn’t take any great effort. It’s what comes naturally. Everyone, by nature, has a stubborn evil heart.
    Jeremiah 11:9 ESV
    Again the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy exists among the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
    Jeremiah 11:10 ESV
    They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words. They have gone after other gods to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their fathers.
    (see also Jeremiah 11:17; Jeremiah 10:5)
    The conspiracy mentioned in verse 9 is a secret agreement between two or more people. It implies that they know God wouldn’t approved of what they’re doing so they try to keep it hidden.
    That’s what idolatry is like. On the surface God’s people appear to be in agreement with God but secretly they conspire in chasing after false Gods and serving them instead.
    Idols are literally everywhere. And Tim Keller says it so well, “An idol is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, ‘If I have that, then I'll feel my life has meaning, then I'll know I have value, then I'll feel significant and secure.’”
    Idols are things that make life feel worthwhile. They take the place of God who should be our #1 reason for feeling significant.
    So, the next time we are tempted to believe a conspiracy theory, remember the oldest conspiracy of all is the one of idolatry and it’s one we are all guilty of believing.
    False Worshipers
    Idolatry is worshiping the wrong god but false worship is worshiping the right God in the wrong way. The Israelites were guilty of both.
    Jeremiah 11:15 ESV
    What right has my beloved in my house, when she has done many vile deeds? Can even sacrificial flesh avert your doom? Can you then exult?
    Sometimes the Israelites were in the right place at the right time worshiping the right God but God still wasn’t pleased because of their hypocrisy.
    Their vile deeds, and their lack of concern about them, made their worship hypocritical and unacceptable. What vile deeds? All the things we’ve already mentioned plus child sacrifice, physical and spiritual prostitution.
    And God’s people don’t seem to care, so they keep committing the same sins over and over again, thinking they can just come before God in his house and everything will be OK. God rejects their false worship because of their vile deeds.
    That’s why, when we partake of communion, we encourage those who are living in sin not to participate. As it says in 1 Cor 11:29 those who fail to examine themselves, or fail to acknowledge their sinfulness, “eat and drink judgement on himself.”
    In other words, their cursed.

    A Curse For Them

    Jeremiah 11:11 says,
    Jeremiah 11:11 ESV
    Therefore, thus says the Lord, Behold, I am bringing disaster upon them that they cannot escape. Though they cry to me, I will not listen to them.
    God is so resolute in his determination to punish them for their wickedness, it won’t even do any good for Jeremiah to pray for them which gets repeated in verse 14.
    That’s sounds harsh, but it’s also just and God is just when he punishes sinners with a curse.
    There’s more doom and gloom in verses 12-14 but let’s skip down to verse 16. Here’s what the curse looks like:
    Jeremiah 11:16 ESV
    The Lord once called you ‘a green olive tree, beautiful with good fruit.’ But with the roar of a great tempest he will set fire to it, and its branches will be consumed.
    With the roar of a violent storm, God is going to set fire to what was once a beautiful, green olive tree. The curse is that lightening’s going to strike and nothing will be left but a bunch of ashes.
    The last verse in this section says it this way:
    Jeremiah 11:17 ESV
    The Lord of hosts, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the house of Israel and the house of Judah have done, provoking me to anger by making offerings to Baal.”
    So the Israelites have broken the covenant. They’re hard-hearted. They’re idolatrous. And when they do worship the true God they do so falsely because of their vile deeds. They’re getting what they deserve because they have broken the covenant they agreed to.
    But what about us?

    A Curse For Us

    But the curse isn’t just for them because everyone is obligated to perfectly obey God’s law yet none of us do.
    Romans 1 says that all of humanity is guilty of idolatry as it says in verse 25: “Because [we’ve] exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
    No one has an excuse as it says in Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”
    It’s the very definition of hypocrisy when we see the sins in others but not in ourselves. If we see the sins in others and they see the sins in us, what does that mean? We are all sinners deserving God’s judgment.
    Paul, in Galatians 3:10 takes the idea a step further and uses the language of the covenant:
    Galatians 3:10 ESV
    For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”
    Everyone, without exception, is cursed if we don’t do everything in the Book of the Law as written. If we have a hard heart, we’re cursed. If we have any idols, we’re cursed. If we worship God falsely, even a little bit, we’re cursed.
    Now, the solution to our problem isn’t to deny this truth about ourselves, but to accept it. With Jeremiah, we need to say, Amen. So be it, Lord. We need to accept the truth about ourselves to be saved, but we also need to accept the truth about Jesus.
    Galatians 3:13 continues,
    Galatians 3:13 ESV
    Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—
    The night before Jesus was hung on a tree, he also said “So Be it, Lord” or “You’re will be done.” And in doing so he agreed to take the curse we deserve upon himself.
    Christ, on the cross, was cursed for our idolatry, for the times we haven’t honored our father and mother, or loved the poor and disadvantaged. He was cursed on a tree for our sexual sins, for our lack of love for our neighbors, and for every sin we have ever committed.
    Christ hung from a cross made from a tree by nails driven through his hands so that his people could be released from the curse. Christ took upon himself what the covenant required for sinners:
    Deuteronomy 21:22 says,
    Deuteronomy 21:22 ESV
    “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree,
    Verse 23 continues “for a hanged man is cursed by God.”
    Jesus was cursed even though he was completely innocent. God the Father poured out his wrath on his Son who willingly accepted the punishment we deserve.
    When Christ was cursed the terms of the covenant were fully met. Sin was atoned for and the Father was free to give his blessings, not on the basis of our obedience but because of his son’s obedience.
    Amen, so be it, Lord!

    A Blessing for Us

    So, the old covenant becomes a new covenant, a covenant not based on our obedience but on Jesus’ obedience. A new covenant that ensures God’s people will receive the blessings but not the curse.
    What are some of the blessings of the covenant that those who trust in Christ enjoy?
    As we’ve already mentioned the greatest blessing— intimacy with God.
    Jeremiah 11:4 says “You will be my people, and I will be your God.” So be it, Lord.
    Joshua 1:5 says “I will never leave you or forsake you.” so be it, Lord.
    Psalm 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” For the sake of Christ, so be it, Lord. And all God’s people said…amen.
      • Jeremiah 11:1–3NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:4NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:5NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:2NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:6NASB95

      • Deuteronomy 27:26NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:7NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:8NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:9NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:10NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:15NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:11NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:16NASB95

      • Jeremiah 11:17NASB95

      • Galatians 3:10NASB95

      • Galatians 3:13NASB95

      • Deuteronomy 21:22NASB95

  • He Is Lord

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