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In last week’s article we considered the first 15 verses of Jeremiah 7 in what is called “The Temple Sermon” as the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah expressed His desire for the people to “change”. The prophet Jeremiah continues in the remainder of chapter 7. When I was reading the remainder of this chapter, what stood out to me was exactly as I entitled the article: “Rejected.” We see a people who stubbornly refused to listen to the warnings, and they continued to go down their chosen path of destruction, refusing to amend their ways, refusing to change their course of direction and since they rejected the Lord and His word, then the Lord says that He has “rejected” them.

At the end of chapter 6, the Lord described Jeremiah’s role as an assayer. An assayer is one who tests or evaluates the quality or purity. The assessment given was that of a people who were defiant, rebellious, slanderers, corrupters. He saw his task like a refiner of silver. He has discovered in his attempts to reach the people with the firesome prophecies of God, the impurities were not being removed. All that was left over during the process was “dross,something worthless, which is called “refuse.” Jeremiah 6:30 says, “People will call them rejected silver, because the Lord has rejected them.” So Jeremiah was doing what the Lord had commanded (cf. Jeremiah 7:1,2). Jeremiah was faithfully proclaiming the word of the Lord to this rebellious people, which he would be treated horribly as the people didn’t care for Jeremiah and the words that he proclaimed to the people. I want you to think about the pain that Jeremiah felt in telling the people to change. Through his tears, he preached, not to make them feel better about their current state, but so they would CHANGE their LIVES.

How many of us have been traveling on the highway and we ignore the signs that tell us to turn around, wrong way and thinking, those signs MUST be wrong!!! We find out after traveling a good distance that ultimately the road came to an abrupt end that had the sign to let us know we reached a “DEAD END!” We had plenty of opportunities to turn around, but we didn’t heed the sign. Jeremiah was like the sign telling the people of Judah to TURN AROUND, WRONG WAY, for they were heading for the DEAD END!

It is apparent that the people of Judah were so depraved that Jeremiah’s intercession for them would be of no avail. Their rebellious conduct continuously provoked the Lord to anger. Their unfaithfulness was bringing destruction upon themselves: “Fire will burn and will not be quenched” (20). The fact that Jeremiah can continue to preach, proclaim the Lord’s word, yet the people will keep on REFUSING TO LISTEN. The people of Judah will continue to worship their pagan idols, they will make their sacrifices even to the Lord, but that which is sacrificed without a penitent heart and commitment to obey the Lord, would be REJECTED.

In verse 23, what God desired of them and even would refer to their fathers that He delivered from the land of Egypt, that the same was required of them to OBEY HIM, with the promise of being their God, yet they didn’t want it. They would not obey or even INCLINE THEIR EAR, but FOLLOWED the counsels and the dictates of their own EVIL hearts, only to GO BACKWARD rather than improving in going FORWARD. They would go on to STIFFEN THEIR NECK! They would NOT respond to the Lord’s message! Their persistent disobedience summoned the wrath of the Lord. We need to pay attention to this: If we STIFFEN OUR NECKS, if we are NO longer moved by the word of God, no longer heed His words, it will summon the wrath of the Lord.  We need to have a heart that desires to be corrected! (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16,17; Hebrews 2:1-3; Proverbs 12:1; Proverbs 3:11,12)

My friends, the Lord has already referenced Shiloh earlier in the Jeremiah 7, and made the point that if he could abandon Shiloh, then he can most certainly abandon Jerusalem. He rather for them to CHANGE, but if they chose to reject correction, then they would be REJECTED before Him. In verse 29 we find an expression mourning and grief, for the people rejected the Lord, and thereby the Lord rejected the people.

As one reads on in this chapter, I can certainly see the extreme depravity of these people. They were sacrificing their own children to pagan idols. As I read this, I had images running in my mind of the parents tossing their children into the valley to be burned and it made my stomach sick. The Lord says that “the days are coming” (32). The Lord was going to intervene, and the severity of judgment described as their bodies would fill up the Valley and be left for the birds and beast to devour. There would be NO joy, only a land of desolation.

This is a difficult chapter. Imagine that you were Jeremiah delivering these harsh words with tears of compassion. When I read this chapter, I thought, destroy these people! Fill up the valley! I thought how if I was in control, that valley would have been filled up YESTERDAY! How can these people be so depraved? How can they continue living for themselves even with all the warnings, to even sacrifice their own children, BURNING THEM in the valley to their pagan gods?

How does it get this bad? How did they go this far away from God? The Lord through Jeremiah said how. Did you notice it? They went backwards, going away from the Lord (24). Their hearts were captivated with other things than the Lord. Their ears were no longer inclined to His word, ears that became dull of hearing, eyes that became dim so they could not see, hearts that didn’t care to understand or desire to change. Their sinfulness was not only affecting them individually, it was affecting their children.

We may not be physically throwing our children into a valley, burning them in a sacrificial ritual, but really we are, spiritually speaking, when we put worldly things above God. I had the imagery of me pushing my children into a valley for them to burn. It disturbed me. It made me think, am I really doing the best to correct them, nurture and admonish them in the Lord as I have been commanded? (cf. Eph. 6:4)

My friends, this goes for anyone in our lives. We are either pulling people away from the fire, or we are pushing them towards it along with ourselves. May our ears always be inclined to the word of the Lord. May our hearts always be inclined to OBEY His word, so it will be well with us.

I must say I am thankful that the Lord is longsuffering. In the book of Jeremiah, the Lord continues to reach out through the prophet Jeremiah. The Lord is still reaching out to us today (cf. 2 Peter 3:9).

My friends, we say that we want to hear the words, “well done thou good and faithful servant,” but are we really being good and faithful servants, listening and obeying the word of the Lord? If we are not, then my friends, the truth is we will be just like the people of Judah, rejected, hearing the words, “Depart from Me, workers of iniquity” (cf. Matt.25; Luke 13).

I plead with you as Jeremiah was pleading with the people of Judah, words that are not easy, but necessary to convict, to bring you from the depths of sin and despair to a life that is accepted by the Lord & pleasing to Him. If I can help you, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Know that God loves you and I love you.

Something to think about. Have a great week. – DJ 😊

About Author

DJ Dickerson

Evangelist | La Porte Church of Christ

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