06 / 02 / 07
• I have to be honest with you, I truly anticipated doing a study on a subject people tell me they want to hear about. You know, God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s blessings (never curses), wealth, health, prosperity … ahhhhhhh. These topics make us feel good about ourselves and life. Don’t get me wrong, we all need these types of studies, also. However, the Lord seems to be calling me to preach a different message (I guess He feels we enough of those). Many of you don’t know that I really don’t like preaching about repentance and obedience to God (especially since I know that I, myself, am utterly ruined before God in my sinful flesh. Praise His name for His forgiveness!)
• WE ARE COMMANDED TO OBEY THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE!!
• Okay, I feel a little better after that outburst.
• Before I began to write about an “easy hearing” subject, I wanted to spend some time in God’s Word. He took me to Jeremiah 8 and 9. Jeremiah was explaining the reason God withdrew His presence at that time and sent His children into exile, scattering them throughout the nations. So, why was God was so upset?
• Now, if this doesn’t wake us up, I don’t know what will!! (Remember, God does not change!)
• Read these passages very carefully. And to think that we, today, count on the “wisdom” of men like they did the scribes and teachers of the Law back then. Again, the people trusted and admired their leaders (just like we do). However, they were leading God’s people astray.
ALLOW ME TO SHOW YOU SOME OF WHAT I READ OUT OF JEREMIAH 8 and 9:
• “At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves … they will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like refuse lying on the ground. Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the Lord Almighty.”(8:1 and 2b-3) Don’t you just want to know what these people (God’s children) did that upset the Lord of hosts so much? I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to repeat their mistake!! As you will see, they were and are NO different from us today. They believed their “scribes” like many do today.
• “Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: When men fall down, do they not get up? When a man turns away, does he not return? I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle.’” (8:4 and 6) Okay, it sounds like they were sinning without any remorse. It sounds like there was no repentance or turning back to God. Sinning … forsaking God’s Laws. They were kind of doing what many today do, playing “follow the leader”. What ever pleased themselves was their attitude, as well. Whatever the leaders said, well, must be right … right?
• “But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord.” (8:7b) Have you ever wondered why many times God will separate those who teach from those who are taught? In the end BOTH will be held accountable for what they believed and lived out. But here, God is saying that His people do not know His Laws! He was upset about this (Don’t we get upset when our children do not listen?). BUT HOLD ON! Continue reading … Who is to blame? Please understand that this was approximately 800 years after Moses had received God’s eternal Laws. I am not going to be quiet about this fact, but it has been 2,000 years since our Messiah attempted to set them straight about these Laws. However, MANY Pastors and leaders are repeating the mistakes of the past.
• “How can you say, “We are wise,fro we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped. Since they have rejected the word of the Lord, wheat kind of wisdom do they have?” (8:8-9) Yes, the Lord of hosts is saying that the leaders were wrong. Even today, many leaders have rejected the Word of God (Rejecting His Laws and ordinances regarding how to live as children of the King).
• “They make ready their tongue like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another; they do not acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.” (9:3) (Did you see that God relates obedience to knowing / acknowledging Him? Wow!! You have heard it before, truly believing in God should MAKE us obey whatever He asks of us. Truly understanding should cause us to want to obey like His Son did (Isn’t that how we become like Him?) Wow, this sure sounds like Matthew 7:22-23 …. “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” These people, in the end, thought that they knew God. They did many things for God, but never knew Him and what He desrires for their lives … “Observe them carefully, for THIS will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations.” (Deuteronomy 4:6a) Today, Many of His children are not even trying to obey His Laws. Many have listened to the “scribes” of our day and discarded His Laws! Question: How can someone claim that God’s eternal laws are done away with? Better yet, how can someone believe this when God’s Word clearly says, “All your Words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”? (Psalm 119:160)
LAST THOUGHTS (We MUST learn from the past):
• I will close with the following words from Jeremiah (given to Him by God). Again, WHY was God so upset? Let us read VERY carefully (for THIS is the revelation of the heart of God!):
- “The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken My Law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my Law..” (9:13)
• Now, wait a minute. We often hear that “they” had to obey God, but we don’t (I could not find this in the Bible, so if someone could show me where it says that, I would be quite amazed!). Many say that “they” had the Law, but we have grace … really? Continue reading to see just how false this cliché is and how much grace and mercy “they” truly had: “This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.” (9:23-24) and again in 31:34b … “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” That’s odd. So there WAS mercy and grace back then, too! A child who loves his parent, obeys his parents. What was Adam and Eve’s fall? It was sin … they did NOT obey God. Whose children are we … Adam’s or the Messiah’s? Let us be honest, God has ALWAYS been merciful and gracious … Go, proclaim this message toward the north: ‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the lord, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,’ declares the Lord, ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt (sin) – you have rebelled against the Lord your God, … and have not obeyed me,’” declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 3:12-13 … p.s. … in verse 14, God even calls Himself HER husband. So either He is talking to us and His Word is eternal for all generations, or it is not. If it is, then we must acknowledge our sins, repent, and obey Him again (No matter what any leader says otherwise)!
- “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24)
- “So you MUST obey them (The words of Moses) and do everything he (original word is singular) tells you. But do NOT do what they do (Speaking about the leaders of that time), for they do NOT practice what they preach.” (Matthew 23:3) (Those words in red are not mine, but are words from our Savior!! He is commanding us to do what Moses said, NOT what their leaders were saying! We did it again … we trusted in men!! Oops.)
- “Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, BUT whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)
• So how do we show God that we believe in Him? How do we show God that we love Him and have given Him authority over our lives? How DO WE look like His Son (our example)?
• By obeying His Laws (These Laws tell us “HOW” to love God and our neighbor.)
• Just something to think about as we attempt to be like Him … obedient to the Father (In ALL ways, not just what the leaders pick and choose as relevant and applicable for us today).