America, a Nation Under God, a God they no longer know. Are we just like Judah? Jeremiah 1-9
Truth has perished; it has disappeared from their mouth. Jeremiah 7:28b
The people no longer know the requirements of the Lord. Jeremiah 8:7b
They reject the word of the Lord and the scribes lying pen produces falsehood Jer 7:8-9
“YOU LIVE IN A WORLD OF DECEPTION AND REFUSE TO KNOW ME” Jer 9:6
God told Jeremiah he would be a prophet to the nations. The message was directed at the nation of Judah, but as I read the words, my heart trembles. It’s as if the words are going out today to all the Nations. We have become like Judah, we are all show. “In God we trust” is on our currency. Our children pledge daily that we are “One nation under God” but we refuse to let His name be spoken in our schools. We punish our people for praying publicly to the Lord. We refuse to listen to His words. We have allowed this terrible sin to spread like a disease throughout our country. Prayer is forbidden – who did this? One nation under God we proclaim – like Judah, our face is before Him, but we have turned our backs on Him.
Judah watched her northern sister Samaria, Israel fall to sin and then ultimately destruction. The land was ravaged and the people were taken into captivity. Both Judah and Israel began as a nation under God. They had rulers who had hearts for the Lord. They prospered in everything they did, they were powerful and the nations feared them. Their rulers had supernatural wisdom and protection. The people of the land served the Lord God and honored His sanctuary. (Just like America!) As the years passed, the people became lazy, fat, living in over abundance and luxury. Their hearts had drifted far from God. To make their ways more acceptable, they made up their own ways and contradicted God’s word to fit their new ways and new lifestyles. They still followed the traditions of their ancestors in worship, temple attendance, rituals, etc., but their hearts were far from the Lord. They no longer knew Him. They brought in practices from the nations around them, they told the Lord, “We will go where we want; we will no longer come to You” and yet in all this, they still proclaimed “ We are innocent, surely the Lord will turn His anger from us for we have not sinned” but God told them that their ways were always changing.. They had no heart for the orphan, the oppressed, the hurting, the helpless. In all their luxury and blessings, they had forgotten the Lord. They no longer knew Him.
They are fat and sleek,
and there is no limit to their wicked deeds.
They refuse to provide justice to orphans
and deny the rights of the poor.
Should I not punish them for this?” says the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself against such a nation?
A horrible and shocking thing
has happened in this land—
the prophets give false prophecies,
and the priests rule with an iron hand.
Worse yet, my people like it that way!
But what will you do when the end comes? Jer 5:28
The Lord said “ My people are fools; they do not know Me. They are foolish children, without understanding. They are skilled in doing what is evil, but they do not know how to do what is good.… They have contradicted the Lord and said “ It won’t happen, harm won’t come to us; we won’t see sword or famine” but beware!!!! The prophets words are only wind, the Lord’s word is not in them. Hear this; They have eyes, but they don’t see, they have ears but they don’t hear.
photo from usnews.com
A dream: A year of two ago I had a dream. There was a horrible, wicked and conniving attorney. He was dressed in a dark suit , he had files of paperwork and years of knowledge behind him. I could see Him going back and forth telling another attorney something. He was always behind the people whispering in their ear. He never spoke for them, but he was the behind the scenes man who did all the legwork on the case. He would whisper his findings secretly in their ears, he brought all his arguments to their thoughts. He knew every trick, the way around every argument and knew how to manipulate the words so they would win the case. It was almost as if he would listen in to the conversation, go do the research, spy on the opposing attorney and report back to his side. He was hard at work behind the scene of this team who was trying to fight for something. He would listen in at the meetings, leave to do research and come back with a hard hitting plan that would undoubtedly win. For each obstacle they faced, this wicked attorney had the ammunition and words to win. He was unstoppable, he knew the plans of the other side and would prepare a case to knock it down before the words were every made known to his side. He was a spirit. No one could see him but me. The attorney and his team thought these ideas were their own, their own intelligence, and their own arguments, but they didn’t realize it was completely orchestrated by this wicked spirit who was giving them all the information and arguments they needed to win the case. The case that I was watching was called Roe vs. Wade, I could hear the attorney’s speaking their names in the meeting. I woke up and felt as if I had been through the entire trial watching this wicked entity scheme and manipulate every word and every argument. This is the enemy our nation is fighting. This is the enemy the world bows down to. Is it in fear? Cowardness? Pride? Or is it that we don’t know our God anymore?
photo from npr. How many babies died today? counter clock
We have made our own ways, we have contradicted God’s laws. Our faces are before Him as we proclaim that we are ‘Christian’ but our backs have turned on our maker. Many of today’s Christians have bowed down to the world and it’s ways. We are lukewarm! Yuck – we judge, we gossip, we look down on others, we stay in our own little church hierarchy groups, no wonder no one want’s to go to church anymore. Are we any different than the world – I think worse because we make excuses for our ways under the title of being a christian. I’m not talking to the world – this message is for those who call themselves Christians. We have chosen the World ways instead of God’s ways. We show up at church and our bible meetings just like the people of Judah did over 2000 years ago. We have made our own image of what we think God is and what we think God should and should not accept. Don’t you know that God’s word stands forever? The earth beneath you may disappear, but His words stand forever. He is outside of time, the argument of what year it is, is no different than it was in the past. Sin is sin. That doesn’t change because of the year we are in. Who do we think we are? We are just a speck of time traveler passing through – we think we are so advanced but outside of time – does our year and do our advances really change God’s word?
YOU HAVE NOT LATELY CALLED ME “ MY FATHER” I THOUGHT, SURELY YOU WOULD RETURN TO ME, BUT YOU DIDN’T. YOU DIDN’T RETURN TO ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART – ONLY IN PRETENSE” but Look!, their ear is uncircumcised so they cannot pay attention. See! They no longer delight in God’s word, they find no pleasure in it. God told them to stop at the crossways and look, ask Him which way to go, but the people shouted “WE WILL NOT LISTEN” , they paid no attention to the Lord’s word. And then YOU COME AND STAND BEFORE ME in My house and say “ We are delivered, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts”, but the Lord says “ I have spoken to you time and time again, but you won’t listen, I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer”
Did you hear that? Do you hear Him knocking at the door of your heart? I heard Charles Stanley say that we have ignored the Lord’s knocking on our heart for so long, that we no longer hear it. When He wakes you up in the middle of the night – are you too tired for Him? Are you like the bride in the Song of Songs who says – not now, I don’t want to get up out of bed to answer the door – even though I love you? Do you see your bible sitting untouched in the same place and you know God wants you to open it up and read it, but you say – not now, another time? I think there are forces we do not see that fight against our walk with Him. Have you ever walked by a bag of chips , the tv, or the computer and felt that same pull away from it? No – it’s only when we are trying to make time with the Lord – funny how much time we have to be on the internet, facebook, watch tv – but somehow there is never enough time for God – I’m convinced there is some kind of force involved in this. It really doesn’t take much – reach over, pick it up, open it- pray! And read – y ya! That’s it, it’s really not that complicated and it doesn’t take hours out of your day (for some it does) but God just wants you to come back to Him- He loves you so much and I saw Him reaching out to His people – as if each one of you were His only son. So amazing! It cannot be described!
Secret Key – from Jeremiah 6:10- Delighting in the word of God is the secret to hearing Him, it’s the secret to understanding Him. When the people no longer heard the Lord, they no longer had sound judgement because they did not delight in the Word of God.
In Corey Russel’s book, Ancient Paths , he says “The crisis of our day is the product of many factors, but the one I want to highlight……is the loss of intimate communion with the Word of God. This fundamental breakdown within the church has now permeated society….Truth has become a matter of individual ideology and preference, subject only to political correctness…… I believe that rediscovering the ancient paths will require us to leave behind our over familiarity with the bible, along with our tendency to discount the words on the page, so that we may truly feel it’s weight again.”
“THE PRIEST RULE WITH THEIR OWN AUTHORITY, MY PEOPLE LOVE IT LIKE THIS” This is going on today!!! Do you see it? Do you see it? The churches and the priests make their own rules overriding God’s word. Does anyone see this? We have become like Judah. Each man has made his own way, we are just like the Israelites who lived 2500 years ago, we too love it this way.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of understanding. Did you ever wonder what that means? We all want understanding, but how can we have the fear of the Lord ? Can I say, okay, I fear the Lord and boom! I will be given understanding? I have found the key and foundation to the fear of the Lord. It all begins with knowing Him. Knowing Him begins by learning who He is by searching for Him in the scripture, crying out to Him and walking with Him. This was Judah’s ultimate sin – They no longer knew Him. This is America’s sin today – We no longer know Him.
Consider the sins of Judah, The Lord called them out on their sins: (do any sound familiar?)
- Experts in the law NO LONGER KNEW HIM
- They stopped calling the Lord “My Father”
- They shouted “We won’t listen”
- Worshipped the works of their own hands
- They paid no attention to His word
- Followed useless idols and they themselves became useless
- Stopped asking “Where is the Lord?”
- The priests stop asking “Where is the Lord?”
- Abandoned the Lord
- They exchanged God for useless idols
- Dug cisterns for themselves that cannot hold water
- No fear of the Lord
- Insisted “ I will not serve!”
- They forgot the Lord 2vs 32, 3:21
- They were constantly changing their ways
- Living immoral lives
- As a woman betrays her lover, so they had betrayed Him
- They had perverted their ways
- They refused to accept discipline
- Truth has vanished from among them; it is no longer heard on their lips
- They refused to return
- They no longer trembled before Him.
- The priests rule by their own authority
- As a well gushes out it’s water, so she pours out her evil
- They make prophet dishonestly
- They have treated the people’s brokenness superficially by saying “peace, peace, when there is not peace”
- They were not ashamed when they sinned, they no longer felt humiliation
- They refused to ask for God’s guidance
- They rejected instruction
- Worshiped and offered sacrifices to the queen of heaven
- They worshipped idols
- They defiled God’s house
- Truth has perished and disappeared from their mouths
- Lived immorally making excuses for their ways as they walked in and out of the sanctuary with their sacrifices, prostitution, wickedness
- Their worship was all show, they were fake
- They lived to deal treacherously and excelled in evil matters, greedy wicked perverted lying sneaky, they didn’t care for the orphan, the widow, no love for others,
- They did not defend the rights of the needy, oppressed, innocent or helpless.
- The priests ruled by their own authority and not God’s rule and authority
- Their ways were now erred because they had forgotten Him
- They had twisted and contradicted His word Their ways were now erred because they had forgotten Him
- They were not ashamed
- Sacrificed their children, their sons and daughters in the fire – something so vile, a thing not commanded, a thought never even entertained by the Lord
- No one could be trusted
- Everyone spread slander
- Friends betray friends
- No one tells the truth
- Live in a world of deception and refuse to know Him
(God warned time repeatedly of the punishment that was ahead, He continually called them back. He gave them chance after chance after chance, but there came a day when it was too late. There will be a day for each of us when there will not be a day of second chances. Listen to Him.)
- Disaster on the land
- Cities laid waste and in ruins
- They turned into a degenerate and foreign vine
- Their sin defiled the land
- No food, no rain,
- Destruction, war, death, ruined cities
- Sword – war
- Their children, flocks, land, wealth would be consumed by other nations
- Sickness and wounds
- You will be driven from His presence
- Whatever the Lord had given them, will be lost to them
- The Lord would no longer be with His people
- Their guilty acts have withheld the Lord’s blessings on them
What can I do?
- KNOW YOUR GOD
- STOP AT THE CROSSROADS AND LOOK
- ASK ABOUT THE ANCIENT PATHS: WHICH WAY SHOULD I GO LORD?
- LISTEN TO HIM AND FOLLOW HIS LEADING;HERE YOU WILL FIND REST
- Cut off what is causing you to sin, even if you desire it. The Lord says, “How long will you harbor malicious thoughts in your hearts?” Jer 4:14
- Acknowledge your guilt in your rebellion against the Lord
- Seek Him with all your heart
- Help the widow, the orphan, the oppressed and the helpless – isn’t that what it means to know the Lord
- Return to Him and He will give you shepherds who are loyal to Him, He will heal your unfaithfulness
- Remove your idols that stand in the way between you and the Lord
- Prepare your heart, break up the unplowed ground. Fill your heart and your mind with God’s word
- circumcise your hearts, get rid of anything that makes you sin or entices you to trip or His wrath will break out like fire and no one can extinguish it
- Mourn and repent for your ways
- Act justly and seek to be faithful and He will forgive you
- Correct your ways and your deeds
- Do not trust in deceitful words
- No longer oppress the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow
- No longer shed innocent blood
- No longer bow down and offer sacrifices to the queen of heaven
- No longer worship your idols
- Stop trusting deceitful words that cannot help you.
Are you called to be a gatekeeper?
Do they hear your voice? I want you to think about this – if the world doesn’t hate you yet, are you really stepping out? Jesus said blessed are those Who are persecuted for His name sake. Rejoice in the world’s rejection of you, you will be blessed. The Lord will be with you, these words you can trust. The World hates Him, does it hate you? Have you made your own ways? Your own rules? Your own god? If you are trying to make everyone happy by changing God’s ways to suit the people around you, you have become just like these evil priests in Judah. They didn’t not heal the people, they only covered the wound with false words. Stand up, Be strong and courageous. You weapons are mighty before God to defeat every wicked entity that comes against God’s people. Stop following the crowd and be ready for extreme persecution, for the Lord is about to shake things up, but remember this – in Him and in Him alone is victory – wether life or death, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that He is glorified. We look forward to that day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen
Three Secret Keys – may God give you understanding:
- Do you fear Him? – That’s the key to understanding
- Do you know Him? – That’s the key and foundation to the fear of the Lord
- Do you delight in His Word? – That’s the key to hearing Him
Hear the Word of the Lord:
“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.
“But my people would not listen to me. They kept doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backward instead of forward. From the day your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have continued to send my My servants, the prophets—day in and day out. But my people have not listened to me or even tried to hear. They have been stubborn and sinful—even worse than their ancestors.
“Tell them all this, but do not expect them to listen. Shout out your warnings, but do not expect them to respond. 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. 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.’ Jer 6
You have brought this punishment upon yourself by abandoning the Lord your God. Your own evil will discipline you.Think about it and see how evil and bitter it is to abandon the Lord your God and to have no fear of Me. Even if you wash with lye and use a great amount of soap, the stain of your sin is still in front of Me. Jeremiah 2
If they had known the Father, they would have known the Son.
Jesus said “All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”