Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 7-8 The Message in the Gate of the Lord’s House

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Lying; deceived

 How many times have we believed a message we have been told, only to find out that it was nothing but a lie?  We find we have been deceived.  How do we feel?  With everyone saying this or that, how are we to know what to believe?
In Jeremiah, chapter 7, Jeremiah speaks to the people of Israel.  He delivers God’s words and a warning.

Jeremiah 7:1-7Jeremiah 7:1-7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 Stand in the gate of the LORD'S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD. 3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. 4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these. 5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; 6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: 7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.  

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The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2″Go to the entrance of the Lord’s Temple, and give this message to the people: ‘O Judah, listen to this message from the Lord! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! 3 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. 4 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!” 5 But I will be merciful only if you stop your evil thoughts and deeds and start treating each other with justice; 6 only if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; only if you stop your murdering; and only if you stop harming yourselves by worshiping idols. 7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.

This event may have occurred at the beginning of Jehoiakim’s reign. Despite Josiah’s restoration of the temple and true worship, cult practices were again the norm for the people.  The death of Josiah through the nation into a whirlwind of spiritual reversal.  Much of the good that Josiah accomplished was gone.

Temple in Jerusalem

The Temple gate was the most sacred and public place in Jerusalem.  God sends Jeremiah to the Temple gates to refute the false belief that God would not let harm come to the Temple or to the people who lived near the gate.  The nation’s leaders had lead the people down a path of disobedience, and Jeremiah was rebuking the people for false religions, idolatry, and the shameless and sinful behavior of the people and their leaders.

The people of Israel had turned away from God, expanding their sinful nature, and being deceived by the leaders that promised safety because of ‘where they were’.  Basically, the leaders deceived the people into believing that because the Temple was in their midst, that they were protected by God, regardless of their lifestyle.  Although the people continued to follow a worship ritual, their lifestyles left much to be desired.  The practiced a religion without personal commitment to God.  Many of us who claim to be a Christian do this very same thing.  We go to Church, take communion, and we may even participate in teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, or involve ourselves in missions.  But, we need to evaluate our motives for doing these things – are we doing them because we feel we are supposed to do them, or are we doing them because we want to do them for God?  All of our actions are futile if they are not done to glorify God, nothing but empty actions.  Throughout the Bible, God has given commands to guide us in our actions.  We must be very careful not to allow ourselves to be deceived into believing that just because we are an ‘active’ Christian, we are protected by God. In verse 5-7, God gives the people a warning along with a promise.  He tells them exactly what He expects, and then they will be allowed to remain in that land.  Amending our ways means to make good, do well, do right, and do what is pleasing to God.  God knows our heart and our motives. We must seek Him in all we do, and do what pleases our Lord!

Jeremiah 7:8-11Jeremiah 7:8-11
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? which...: Heb. whereupon my name is called 11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.  

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8 “‘Don’t be fooled into thinking that you will never suffer because the Temple is here. It’s a lie! 9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and burn incense to Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, “we are safe!” – only to go right back to all those evils again” 11 Don’t you yourselves admit that this Temple, which bears my name, has become a den of thieves? Surely I see all the evil going on there. I, the Lord, have spoken!

Basically, the people believed that they could do anything they wanted and still find safety in the Temple.  How does that compare to our life today?  How many people believe because they go to church each Sunday, they are safe the rest of the week?  There are even pastors who preach this doctrine:  ‘If you are saved, it doesn’t matter what you do – your sins have been forgiven’.  Not true!!!  Don’t be deceived into believing this!  It DOES matter what you do!  Once you have been washed by the blood of Jesus Christ, you become anew.  How can one continue to consciously live a sinful life once they give their heart to Jesus?  Of course, not one of us is without sin.  That is not what I am saying.  We know that Jesus gave His life for us.  He paid our penalty for sin and we know that we are forgiven for the sins we have committed, and sins that we will commit.  This becomes very complicated for some, and I will try to put it as simply as possible.  The key word here is CONSCIOUSLY.  Once we are saved, we begin to study the Word of God.  In doing so, we find ourselves striving to live a Christ-like life.  When we sin, we confess our sin to God and ask for forgiveness.  We do not sin deliberately, already knowing our sins are forgiven.  We do not boast.  We humble ourselves.  We make a conscious effort to NOT sin.  Learning the Law makes us aware of sin.  The closer we draw to God, the more aware we are of our sin.  Then, when we are tempted to commit a sinful act, we are faced with a conscious choice to make.  If we are weak in that decision, we pray for guidance. Therefore, how could one go throughout the week, doing as they please, believing they are protected because they attend church on the weekend?

The similarities between back in Jeremiah’s day and ours are three-fold:
1) The people of Israel didn’t make the Temple part of their daily living. We may have a beautiful church that we attend, but not all of us keep the presence of God with us throughout the week.
2) The image of the Temple became more important than the substance of faith. Sometimes, going to church and belonging to a group becomes more important than having a changed life for God.
3) The people used the Temple as their sanctuary. Many of us hide behind a church, thinking it protects them from the many evils of the world and daily problems.

Jeremiah 7:12-15Jeremiah 7:12-15
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel. 13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not; 14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.  

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12 “‘Go no to the place 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. 13 While you were doing these wicked things, says the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. 14 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. 15 And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel.’

God warns the people of Judah that they can expect the same fate as the people of Shiloh did if they don’t repent and turn back to Him.  Regardless of what structure we expect to receive protection from, we will never have it if we don’t have the presence of God in our life.  God reaches out for us over and over again, but if you refuse to listen and won’t answer, eventually he will send you away.  History always repeats itself.  God doesn’t care what kind of building we are hiding in.  If we do not have a clean heart with clean motives, he will destroy us.

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Jeremiah

How often have you heard someone complaining about what they don’t have? We have done it ourselves, haven’t we? Or, we see something that someone else has and wish to ourselves that we owned it? When we take our eyes off of Christ, it is natural for us to WANT things that are not necessarily needed, but is more for status, or prestige. We can get so wrapped up in what God isn’t doing for us and when we begin to lust after worldly items, our spiritual self suffers, as did the Israelites in Jeremiah. Sometimes, we even find ourselves in a dark place and it seems as though we just can’t escape. There is always a way! God gives us that way. 1 Corinthians 10:1-121 Corinthians 10:1-12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. followed...: or, went with them 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. our...: Gr. our figures 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. ensamples: or, types 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  

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is a direct warning for all of us. God doesn’t want us to repeat the mistakes that have been made in history. The key is to read and study your Bible each day so that these lessons remind us of how God wants us to live.

Jeremiah 7:16-23Jeremiah 7:16-23
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee. 17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger. queen...: or, frame, or, workmanship of heaven 19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces? 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched. 21 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. 22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: concerning: Heb. concerning the matter of 23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.  

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16 “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. 17 Don’t you see what they are doing throughout the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods! 19 Am I the one they are hurting?” asks the LORD. “Most of all, they hurt themselves, to their own shame.”
20 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.”
21 This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Take your burnt offerings and your other sacrifices and eat them yourselves! 22 When I led your ancestors out of Egypt, it was not burnt offerings and sacrifices I wanted from them. 23 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!’
24 “Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. 28 Say to them, ‘This is the nation whose people will not obey the LORD their God and who refuse to be taught. Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips. 29 Shave your head in mourning, and weep alone on the mountains. For the LORD has rejected and forsaken this generation that has provoked his fury.’

NOTE: The Queen of Heaven was a name for Ishtar, the Mesopotamian goddess of love and fertility. After the fall of Jerusalem, the refugees who fled to Egypt continued to worship her. This worship appealed more to women, and usually involve making cakes in the goddess’s image. The reality of these cakes being made in the privacy of one’s home as a form of worship to a false god, and then presenting themselves at the Temple to worship God, was in fact, hypocrisy.

Jeremiah

God is asking ‘who gets hurt when we turn away from Him and live sinfully. God is our only source of spiritual strenth. When we cut ourselves off from Him, we are basically cutting our lifeline. We are the ones that are hurt by our own actions.
In the Old Testament, people were required to make sacrifices to God. The purpose of these sacrifices were not for God’s pleasure, but rather for the people to recognize their sin and refocus on living for God. The people continued to make these sacrifices, but had forgotten the reason that they were offering them. Unless they were prepared to obey God in all areas of their life, making the religious sacrifice was meaningless. If we make every attempt to live a life of obedience to God, He tells us that ‘all will be well’. This doesn’t mean that our lives will be perfect. If that was the case, everyone would be a Christian. There would be no wars, or famine, disasters, etc. What it does mean is that no matter what we go through in life, God is faithful to us. We are His children, and He will provide for us. If He brings us to a difficult situation, it is usually because He is trying to teach, or show, us something that we will need to know down the road. God never said that being His child would be easy. But He did promise us a life of eternity with Him, free from pain, tears, and death. Even over the centuries of resistance from our ancestors, God has remained faithful by sending prophets to deliver God’s Words to people, even when He knows that they will not listen. Are we strong in that way? Do we continue to witness to all, even when we know that they will turn away or become hostile towards us? This is when we must have faith in God to give us the strength to stand strong in our persecution. This brings us right back to 1 Corinthians 10:1-121 Corinthians 10:1-12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. followed...: or, went with them 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. our...: Gr. our figures 7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. ensamples: or, types 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  

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. We must always remember not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Jeremiah 7:30-34Jeremiah 7:30-34
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it. 31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart. came...: Heb. came it upon my heart 32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place. 33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away. 34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.  

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30 “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the Temple that bears my name, defiling it. 31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing! 32 So beware, for the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when that garbage dump will no longer be called Topheth or the valley of Ben-Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. They will bury the bodies in Topheth until there is no more room for them. 33 The bodies of my people will be food for the vultures and wild animals, and no one will be left to scare them away. 34 I will put an end to the happy singing and laughter in the streets of Jerusalem. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard in the towns of Judah. The land will lie in complete desolation.

Among the people’s sin was the practice of child sacrifice. The valley of Topheth was just outside the city of Jerusalem and to the south. This was a garden of the Canaanites, and later became a center of Baal worship. The shrines of Topheth were set up in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and this alter was used to worship Molech, a god that required child sacrifice.

2 Kings 23:102 Kings 23:10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 And he defiled Topheth, which is in the valley of the children of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter to pass through the fire to Molech.  

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Then the king defiled the altar of Topheth in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, so no one could ever again use it to sacrifice a son or daughter in the fire as an offering to Molech.

The people were being warned that the plac where they had killed their children in sinful idol worship, they themselves would be slaughtered by the Babylonians, and would be dumped in this place.

God warns that He will leave this land in complete desolation. In Revelation, Jesus warns us about the very same thing. Our nations have turned so very far away from God. It seems that each day, we hear more and more about removing God from our communities, our schools, our government. God has been very clear about a nation that keeps Him in the forefront.

 Psalms 33:12Psalms 33:12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  

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:
What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord,
whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

Regardless of where you live, have faith in God and always keep Him in their forefront of your life!

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How often have you seen someone do something that you knew was wrong?  Were they ashamed?  Did they show remorse?  Or, did they continue their actions…maybe because others were doing it as well?  Or, maybe they rationalized it in their mind, so that it no longer seemed wrong to them?  Christians are not exempt from this deceit.  Many times, we see Scripture being twisted, taken out of context, to mean what the person wants it to mean for them at that moment.  That is not how God intended the Scripture to be used.  The Scripture is there to guide us, to command us, and to provide us with past and future events that give us hope.

Jeremiah 8:1-3Jeremiah 8:1-3
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 1 At that time, saith the LORD, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: 2 And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung upon the face of the earth. 3 And death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family, which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the LORD of hosts.  

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1 “In that day,” says the Lord, “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem. 2 They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and starts – the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure. 3 And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!

The people who honored the dead believed that it was the highest desecration to open graves.  It is ironic though, that the bones of idol worshipers would be laid out before the sun, moon, and stars.  These were the gods of worship, the gods that they thought could save them!  There are no words of comfort here for the people.  They will wish to die rather than live where they are going.  This is similar to Revelation 9:6Revelation 9:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.  

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.  The passage is foretelling about the bottomless pit being opened and locust creatures are released on earth to torment unbelievers for 5 months.

Rev 9:6Rev 9:6
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.  

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In those days people will seek death but will not find it. They will long to die, but death will flee from them!

I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that would be like.  Can you?  To be so miserable that you want to die, you pray to die, but death is not an option.

In Jeremiah, death would be a better option than life for those who survive the Babylonian invasion.

Jeremiah 8:4-7Jeremiah 8:4-7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

4 Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; Shall they fall, and not arise? shall he turn away, and not return? 5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. 6 I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. 7 Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.  

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4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the LORD says:”‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?They cling tightly to their liesand will not turn around.6 I listen to their conversationsand don’t hear a word of truth.Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?No! All are running down the path of sinas swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!7 Even the stork that flies across the skyknows the time of her migration,as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.They all return at the proper time each year.But not my people!They do not know the LORD’S laws.

Jeremiah

The first two questions seem simple and common sense.  Surely, if someone falls down, they get back up.  Surely, if we make a wrong turn and are heading the wrong way, we turn around and go in the right direction.  Or, do we?  A part of being a Christian is being accountable for our spiritual life.  We are responsible for recognizing if and when we veer off course, and it is up to ask to correct ourselves immediately through prayer and conviction.  The people continued to live sinful lives by their own choice, believing that there would be no consequences.  They minimized their sin and deceived themselves.  As birds are aware of their migratory patterns, the people should have known their role with God, but did not.  Do you ever find yourself heading in the wrong direction? What is it that you do that you find helps you the most to get back on the right track?

Jeremiah 8:8-13Jeremiah 8:8-13
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

8 How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. in vain made...: or, the false pen of the scribes worketh for falsehood 9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the LORD; and what wisdom is in them? The wise...: or, Have they been ashamed, etc what...: Heb. the wisdom of what thing 10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. 11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. I will...: or, In gathering I will consume 13 I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.  

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8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?  9 These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the Lord.  Are they so wise after all?  10 I will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers.  From the least to the greatest, their lives are ruled by greed  .Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.  They are all frauds.  11 They offer superficial treatments for my people’s mortal wound.  They give assurances of peace when there is no peace.  12 Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions?  Not at all – they don’t even know how to blush!  Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.  They will be brought down when I punish them,says the Lord.  13 I will surely consume them.  There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.  Their fruit trees will all die.  Whatever I gave them will soon be gone.I, the LORD, have spoken!’

Having the ability to literally write down the law of the Lord was not immune from corruption, nor is it today.  The scribes changed God’s Word to what was acceptable to them.  They changed the truth into lies.  We see this happening today in churches all around us!  Scripture is twisted in such a way that it says what that particular individual wants it to say.  Others just plainly reject the Word of God.
God is making a reference to the coming exile when He announces that he will give their wives to others and their farms to strangers.  This is what will be the most important to the leaders of the nations that invade Jerusalem.
The leaders of this time, were guilty of lying to the people, and deceiving them into believing that they were not living a sinful lifestyle.  The leaders showed no remorse, nor guilt, about their misleading of the people.  It was for this non-repentance that they would be punished by God.

Jeremiah 8:14-17Jeremiah 8:14-17
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

14 Why do we sit still? assemble yourselves, and let us enter into the defenced cities, and let us be silent there: for the LORD our God hath put us to silence, and given us water of gall to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. gall: or, poison 15 We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of health, and behold trouble! 16 The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan: the whole land trembled at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones; for they are come, and have devoured the land, and all that is in it; the city, and those that dwell therein. all...: Heb. the fulness thereof 17 For, behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices, among you, which will not be charmed, and they shall bite you, saith the LORD.  

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14 “Then the people will say,  ‘Why should we wait here to die?  Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there.  For the LORD our God has decreed our destruction and has given us a cup of poison to drink because we sinned against the LORD.  15 We hoped for peace, but no peace came.  We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’  16 “The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard all the way from the land of Dan in the north!  The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.  17 I will send these enemy troops among you like poisonous snakes you cannot charm.  They will bit you, and you will die.  I, the LORD, have spoken!”

When the people want to go to the ‘fortified towns’, they are seeking the protection within the city.  There would normally be resources that would sustain people for a period of time.  But, if food and drink were absent, or spoiled, this would not be the case and the people would surely die.  We see in verse 15 that peace is no longer an option.  How long do we think that we can put God on the back burner before He no longer has patience with us?  How long do we expect we can continue living a life of sin without consequence?  God compares the coming destruction to that of a poisonous snake that cannot be charmed.   He is telling the people that their destruction is inevitable; there is no way to avoid it at this point.

Jeremiah 8:18-22Jeremiah 8:18-22
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

18 When I would comfort myself against sorrow, my heart is faint in me. in: Heb. upon 19 Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities? them...: Heb. the country of them that are far off 20 The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. 21 For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered? recovered: Heb. gone up?  

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18 My grief is beyond healing;my heart is broken.  19 Listen to the weeping of my people; it can be heard all across the land.  “Has the LORD abandoned Jerusalem?”  the people ask.  “Is her King no longer there?”  “Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols and their worthless foreign gods?” says the LORD.  20 “The harvest is finished, and the summer is gone,” the people cry, “yet we are not saved!”  21 I hurt with the hurt of my people.  I mourn and am overcome with grief.  22 Is there no medicine in Gilead?  Is there no physician there?  Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?

Jeremiah

Jermiah was crying out for the sins of Judah and pleading to God to save his people.  Can you feel the emotion in Jeremiah’s words?  All of his words, his warnings, his pleading, fell on deaf ears.  He is grieving.  He knows the fate that his people face.  His people were dying of sin.  Our world today has been taken over with sin as well.  How are we working to change this?  Do we have the passion of Christ within us at all times?  Are we sincerely trying to help the lost and show them the love of Jesus Christ?  Jeremiah believed that the people’s salvation was still within reach.  What they needed was repentance.  But, the people had already given up.  How does that compare to today?  I believe that salvation is still on the horizon for many if they accept Jesus Christ and repent of their sins and sinful life.  But, if one continues to reject Christ, there will come a time that your heart will be hardened and you will be lost forever.  Please don’t allow that to happen.  Accept Christ and all that He has to offer you.  Are you willing to risk your eternity for the alternative?

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 1-2

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 3-4

Study of Jeremiah Chapters 5-6

Written by Mary Hudak-Collins

Mary Hudak-Collins

2 thoughts on “Study of Jeremiah – Chapters 7-8 The Message in the Gate of the Lord’s House

  1. Pingback: Study of Jeremiah - Chapters 3-4 Judah Follows Isreal; Hope for Isreal

  2. Martha Orlando

    Another amazing and in-depth study and exhortation, Mary! Yes! This world does need a wake-up call big time. Hope many are moved to accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior through reading this.
    Love and blessings!

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