July 25, 2021
Jeremiah Part 2 | Jeremiah 2:1-8
On July 25, 2021, Pastor Eric continued his series on the book of Jeremiah. He brushed up on points he covered in his sermon last week, namely God’s message to Jeremiah. Today, Pastor Eric focused on God’s message to the Israelites, through the prophet Jeremiah: more specifically on their erroneous ways and the Lord’s pronouncements of judgment and His calls to repent.
The book of Jeremiah teaches us two things the Israelites have done:
1-They have forsaken the Lord.
Read Jeremiah 2:1-8
God had entered into a loving relationship with his people that was similar to a marriage, but Israel proved to be an unfaithful spouse, committing spiritual adultery by worshipping false gods and forsaking the Lord. By rebelling against God, the people of Israel broke His covenant by turning to worthless idols. God, who compared their idolatry to adultery, called Jeremiah to bring the Jews to repentance through admitting their sin. The Lord has called them harlots, but he still desired for them to return to Him, because of his great love and mercy for his people.
2-They dug their own cisterns.
Read Jeremiah 2:13
God had Jeremiah tell the Israelites that they were facing His judgment for two reasons: 1) for rejecting Him, the spring of living water and 2) for digging and relying on cracked cisterns (false gods) that could hold no water. They refused to drink from the spring of fresh water that Jesus was offering them. They did not acknowledge the error of their ways and did not ask for forgiveness. They considered themselves innocent.
Did we give our heart and soul to something other than God? Did we choose a broken cistern rather than Jesus’ living water? Are we allowing Jesus to quench our thirst or have we fallen to the same false gods? If we look around us, we see that there are many “false gods” or “idols” in our world today: the false gods of entertainment, money, selfishness and instant gratification, to name a few. Idols are anything we devote our time to other than God. Are we rejecting God for idols? Idolatry and this sin has been around for thousands of years. Idolatry is prevalent in our culture today, because our definition of idolatry is amiss. We think idolatry is strictly bowing down to a golden statue or to an image carved out of wood. Since we don’t do this, we assume we don’t have idols, but we are only deceiving ourselves. If we try to serve both God and earthly idols, we are doomed to fail.
We see an example of instant gratification in the story of Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:19-34). Esau sells his firstborn right to his younger brother in exchange for a bowl of stew. Esau’s intense hunger leads him to exchange his birthright for immediate gratification, without considering the long-term consequences of his actions. Do we see people reaping the consequences of instant gratification? How about the man who was given a life sentence behind bars for following his desire of vengeance? Or the person confined to a wheelchair after succumbing to just one more drink? Or, the person who has a spouse and family and destroys his or her marriage after a one-night stand? What is your bowl of stew? Is it calling you? We need to stand strong in the Lord and resist these temptations.
God teaches us that, as the spring of living water, He is the source of life. Without Him we are nothing. We must believe in Him and trust Him to meet all our needs. He graciously offers to lead and guide us every day of our lives: through the good, the bad and the ugly. He made our soul and He knows what our soul longs for. It longs for Him! But what do we say? “No thank you,” or “No, I will find another way, or “I prefer to dig my cisterns and drink the muddy water.”
At the beginning, the Jews were devoted to the Lord and they loved Him. But once they reached the Promise Land, they sank into idolatry and followed the gods of the nations around them. Through Jeremiah, God made a heartfelt appeal to the Jews, drawing upon the memory of their past relationship. He said, “I was your first love and I remember your devotion in your youth. Come back to Me. You are worshipping idols that cannot help you. What have I done for you to turn away from Me?” The Lord asks why his people have changed. They forgot all God did for them. They have forsaken the Lord for worthless idols.
Read Jeremiah 3:12-13.
In the verses above, we see that God is seeking to win the hearts of his people and to bring them back to Himself. He reminds them of their earlier faith and of everything He’s done for them, but the people of Israel choose to rebel. In their pursuit of idols, the people of Israel became worthless, because people invariably become like what they love and worship. Do we stray from God? Do we complain and turn our backs to Him? Do we really rather chase our worthless earthly desires? When we finally reach the idols we were chasing, are we satisfied or do we only find emptiness? Should we not seek God instead? Israel’s disobedience should propel us to live godly lives and to obey the Word of God.
Are you thirsty for righteousness? Are you going to broken cisterns in search of hope, life and purpose? I’m reminding you today, that you have access to a fountain of life, eternal life, in Christ Jesus. Today is the day to come running into His loving arms! Embrace God’s grace today!