The honeymoon was over fast. It didn’t take much for the Israelites, once they made it to the Promised Land, to abandon the One True God. After God rescued them from slavery, led them for 40 years in the wilderness, to a fruitful land, they became blinded by the pagan worship practices of their neighbors. They ended up like an unfaithful bride who defiles what was holy. In this chapter, God reveals His true feelings about Israel. How does He feel about us today? Let’s dig in…
Jeremiah 2 – The Lord’s Case against His People
The Lord gave me another message. He said, 2 “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says:
“I remember how eager you were to please me
as a young bride long ago,
how you loved me and followed me
even through the barren wilderness.
3 In those days Israel was holy to the Lord,
the first of his children.
All who harmed his people were declared guilty,
and disaster fell on them.
I, the Lord, have spoken!”
4 Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! 5 This is what the Lord says:
“What did your ancestors find wrong with me
that led them to stray so far from me?
They worshiped worthless idols,
only to become worthless themselves.
6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord
who brought us safely out of Egypt
and led us through the barren wilderness—
a land of deserts and pits,
a land of drought and death,
where no one lives or even travels?’
7 “And when I brought you into a fruitful land
to enjoy its bounty and goodness,
you defiled my land and
corrupted the possession I had promised you.
8 The priests did not ask,
‘Where is the Lord?’
Those who taught my word ignored me,
the rulers turned against me,
and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal,
wasting their time on worthless idols.
9 Therefore, I will bring my case against you,”
says the Lord.
“I will even bring charges against your children’s children
in the years to come.
10 “Go west and look in the land of Cyprus;
go east and search through the land of Kedar.
Has anyone ever heard of anything
as strange as this?
11 Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones,
even though they are not gods at all?
Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God
for worthless idols!
12 The heavens are shocked at such a thing
and shrink back in horror and dismay,”
says the Lord.
13 “For my people have done two evil things:
They have abandoned me—
the fountain of living water.
And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns
that can hold no water at all!
The Results of Israel’s Sin
14 “Why has Israel become a slave?
Why has he been carried away as plunder?
15 Strong lions have roared against him,
and the land has been destroyed.
The towns are now in ruins,
and no one lives in them anymore.
16 Egyptians, marching from their cities of Memphis and Tahpanhes,
have destroyed Israel’s glory and power.
17 And you have brought this upon yourselves
by rebelling against the Lord your God,
even though he was leading you on the way!
18 “What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt
and your covenants with Assyria?
What good to you are the streams of the Nile
or the waters of the Euphrates River?
19 Your wickedness will bring its own punishment.
Your turning from me will shame you.
You will see what an evil, bitter thing it is
to abandon the Lord your God and not to fear him.
I, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!
20 “Long ago I broke the yoke that oppressed you
and tore away the chains of your slavery,
but still you said,
‘I will not serve you.’
On every hill and under every green tree,
you have prostituted yourselves by bowing down to idols.
21 But I was the one who planted you,
choosing a vine of the purest stock—the very best.
How did you grow into this corrupt wild vine?
22 No amount of soap or lye can make you clean.
I still see the stain of your guilt.
I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
Israel, an Unfaithful Wife
23 “You say, ‘That’s not true!
I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!’
But how can you say that?
Go and look in any valley in the land!
Face the awful sins you have done.
You are like a restless female camel
desperately searching for a mate.
24 You are like a wild donkey,
sniffing the wind at mating time.
Who can restrain her lust?
Those who desire her don’t need to search,
for she goes running to them!
25 When will you stop running?
When will you stop panting after other gods?
But you say, ‘Save your breath.
I’m in love with these foreign gods,
and I can’t stop loving them now!’
26 “Israel is like a thief
who feels shame only when he gets caught.
They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—
all are alike in this.
27 To an image carved from a piece of wood they say,
‘You are my father.’
To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say,
‘You are my mother.’
They turn their backs on me,
but in times of trouble they cry out to me,
‘Come and save us!’
28 But why not call on these gods you have made?
When trouble comes, let them save you if they can!
For you have as many gods
as there are towns in Judah.
29 Why do you accuse me of doing wrong?
You are the ones who have rebelled,”
says the Lord.
30 “I have punished your children,
but they did not respond to my discipline.
You yourselves have killed your prophets
as a lion kills its prey.
31 “O my people, listen to the words of the Lord!
Have I been like a desert to Israel?
Have I been to them a land of darkness?
Why then do my people say, ‘At last we are free from God!
We don’t need him anymore!’
32 Does a young woman forget her jewelry,
or a bride her wedding dress?
Yet for years on end
my people have forgotten me.
33 “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers.Jeremiah 2 NLT
Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!
34 Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor,
though you didn’t catch them breaking into your houses!
35 And yet you say,
‘I have done nothing wrong.
Surely God isn’t angry with me!’
But now I will punish you severely
because you claim you have not sinned.
36 First here, then there—
you flit from one ally to another asking for help.
But your new friends in Egypt will let you down,
just as Assyria did before.
37 In despair, you will be led into exile
with your hands on your heads,
for the Lord has rejected the nations you trust.
They will not help you at all.
Israel as God’s Bride
What does an unfaithful nation look like? What once was a holy relationship was defiled and corrupted. Like a forsaken husband, God was brokenhearted and angry. He was with them constantly during the Exodus. Yet, once let loose in the Promised Land, the land of milk and honey, the people…
- Neglected God — they stop going to temple (church), reading and teaching the Law (Word or Bible) and praying. The didn’t pass the commandments and the law to the next generations.
- Found substitutions — here’s where paganism comes in. Paganism, aka idolatry, is worshiping, venerating, basically putting anything above or before worshiping the One True God. For the Israelites it was the false gods of their neighbors. Non-existent gods. They worshiped pieces of wood, stone, or metal — even nature. In our world, people worship material things, money, self, fame, fortune, nature, and people idols both living and dead. It’s all the same thing.
- Forget God altogether.
Knowing About God vs a Relationship with God
You can be a Bible scholar, yet not know God personally. I once marveled at a young man who was getting baptized. He must have been 12 or 13. He said, “I used to have head knowledge of Jesus and that wasn’t enough. Now I have HEART knowledge.” That’s having Jesus in your heart — having a RELATIONSHIP with HIM!
Jesus didn’t suffer torture and die so we could have religion! He died so He could have a Relationship with YOU!
That’s the difference.
A cracked cistern
God calls the people a cracked cistern. A cistern is a large container and its sole purpose is to collect rainwater. A cracked cistern is about as useless for holding water as a sieve or colander. Jesus offers us a fountain of living water that never dries up. He is constantly nourishing us spiritually.
In verse 18, Jeremiah mentions political alliances. The Israelites, who left slavery in Egypt, were free, and actually go back to Egypt seeking protection from the Babylonians. That doesn’t make sense! Why go back to a country that enslaved you?
I love what Pastor Sandy Adams has to say about that…
In fact, here is the theme that emerges in the book of Jeremiah… “Political
alliances are worthless. Only a loyalty to God can guarantee a nation’s security.”
I wish America had ears to hear that truth! We once had a rich, spiritual, even Christian heritage, but it’s gone now. We’re the secular society. We’ve forgotten God – taken credit for His blessings.
In our world today, if you stand for God, chances are you’ll have to do it alone. Following Jesus leads a person down paths of loneliness, and through times of discouragement. And this is why Jeremiah will be such a help to us. He’s been where we’re headed. We can draw tremendous help and support from Jeremiah.Sandy Adams
“No amount of soap or lye can make you clean.”
All your good deeds and religious rites cannot cleanse you of your sin! God sees EVERYTHING that you’ve done, do now, and are planning to do! Are you really sorry you sinned, or are you just sorry you got caught?
Because of the instant gratification culture we live in, we jump to the first solution to our problem with no moral concern. Isn’t that what’s wrong with the world?
Verse 33: “Your clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor…” Since Roe v Wade in 1973, 62.5 MILLION babies have been murdered*. A sacrifice to the “Molech” gods of our day: pride, career, vanity, plans, etc. Lives that were inconvenienced.
There’s now blood on her skirts. And God certainly sees the innocent blood onSandy Adams
the skirts of America.
Seeking in the Wrong Places
People today go from church to church looking for a preacher who will make them feel good. That’s not the church you want. That’s a church that’s preaching a watered-down gospel, a feel-good gospel — a false gospel taught by false prophets.
Some are still caught up in the slavery of religious paganism, rites and rituals that get you nowhere. A few days ago was the feast day of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”. It’s a mostly Mexican-Catholic celebration of a supposed apparition of the Virgin Mary. I saw this graphic on Twitter and it is full of paganism. Look at all the references to the Aztecs, astrology, sun, moon and angel worship! Incredible! All these apparitions of Mary are from Satan! The devil wants the people as far away from Jesus Christ as possible. Watch the videos below.
The Truth about the Virgin of Guadalupe
Jesus’ True Church
Today, “the church” is the Bride of Christ. “Church”, in this case doesn’t mean everybody who attends a church, or even calls themselves “Christian”. No, Jesus’ Bride is His born-again believers. The people who have heard the Good News and believe it wholeheartedly. Those who have fully repented of their sins and turned their lives around. Those who have been baptized showing the world and themselves that they are new creations in Christ. Finally, they are the ones who have the Holy Spirit in their hearts. We are the church. We are the chosen ones, the Children of God. We are the Bride waiting for the Groom to come and get us in Rapture. You can join us in Truth!
What are you waiting for?
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Pastor Mike Winger answers the Question about Apparitions of Mary
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
Left Behind After the Rapture Series
Top image by Sweet Publishing from FreeBibleImages.org, (CC BY-SA 3.0)