Jeremiah 5-6: Proclaim God’s Word
October 3, 2020
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
The prophet depicts a running to and fro on the streets of the city looking for just one person who is doing what is right (5:1). But none can be found! For surely they use the religious jargon (“As the LORD lives”), but they swear falsely (5:2).
How common it is for countries and churches, which have long lived on the abundance of God, to learn to take his name upon the lips but without living out the reality of his name in their lives. We can too easily go through the motions, become Christians in name only, and not “do justice” or “seek truth” (5:1). It was the priest and the Levite who passed by the man in need, while it was the good Samaritan (from a despised raced) who fulfilled the law of God to love his neighbor (10:30-37). May we put into practice our devotion.
The prophet then thinks that perhaps this is just the fault of the lowly members of society—the “great” surely are doing better (5:5)! But, no, they are all alike, not doing justice or seeking truth. In fact, as the prophet’s tirade continues, most galling of all is that prophets (who should be warning, and issuing a command from God saying “repent”) are instead themselves nothing but “wind” and “the word is not in them” (5:13). Once the pulpit is gone, or filled with empty platitudes, then the spiral of decay only increases. God’s Word is not heard, and the people who have abandoned “truth” and “justice” continue their spiral into decreasing wholeness and holiness.
The remedy? Preach the Bible, preachers, not your own thoughts or ideas! God then is bringing a nation from afar to discipline his people, but yet he will not make a full end of them. There is hope, a return from exile, to come. Meanwhile,
“the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?” (Jeremiah 5:31)
Instead, we are to heed God’s Word, listen to it and put it into practice, proclaim God’s Word and do what it says.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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