Bible Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-15
“Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called my my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’ – only to go on doing all these abominations?” (Jeremiah 7:8-10)
Who can understand sin in its reality? None of us truly comprehend what sin is in our own hearts. Just like the people of Israel, we think we are spiritual. We think we are holy and right before God because we go to church, read the Bible, and on the outside, worship Him. Yet, deep in our hearts, there lie a plethora of idols that we worship.
Just like how the Israelites offered offerings to Baal in their private time, so we offer our hearts to idols so often. We give ourselves to pride, selfishness, lust, anger, laziness; the list goes on. On the outside, we do our devotions every day, we read spiritual books, we pray to God; however, our hearts are far from God. We do not have a genuineness of faith in us. Our faith is often a fraud, a lie we believe ourselves.
After we have satisfied our desires worshipping our idols, then we turn to God and say we worship Him. We decide to serve Him in ministry, pray to Him that we rely on Him for everything, and call ourselves devout followers of Christ. What an abomination we commit before God daily. Our hearts are far from Him, yet in our pride, we think we are close to Him. What a disgust we are in God’s eyes.
If we want to know what God thinks about us, we will be shocked. God’s response to the Israelites is, “and I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim” (Jeremiah 7:15). And then, when Jeremiah goes to pray for God’s mercy for the Israelite nation, God says, “do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you…Behold, my anger and my wrath will be poured out on this place upon man and beast, upon the trees of the field and the fruit of the ground; it will burn and not be quenched” (Jeremiah 7:16,20).
These passages of Scripture make us feel uncomfortable, and often we pass by them. Yet, they provide us with a vital insight into who God is. He is Holy. He is just and righteous. We have no right to stand before Him at all. Why does God include all this in the Bible? And how should we respond?
Jeremiah 9:23-24 says, “Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, For in these things I delight, declares the LORD”.
May God forgive our pride and boast in self and teach us to know Him.
Lord, please forgive us because we do not know how sinful we are. Our hearts are not whole for you, and yet we think that our hearts are, and we boast in the lie that we are good Christians. Please forgive us and teach us Your ways. Thank You that we are in Christ and that You have ultimately died in our place. Teach us to understand what Your love is. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Hans Sangtoki (18) is the coordinator of RE Generation Z. He has a passion for serving his generation and sharing hope in Christ. He also has an interest in classical music and dreams of conducting an orchestra one day.