June 22, 2021
"Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God of Israel...'"
“Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying “Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God.” That I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them a “land flowing with milk and honey”: as it is this day.’ Then I said, ‘So be it Lord.’ Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: Hear the words of this covenant and do them.”’” Jeremiah 11:2-6
CURSED. As we examine Jeremiah’s rebuke/exhortation to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, we cannot ignore how it is direct opposition to Psalm 1.
“Blessed is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or sit in the seat of the mocker! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2
Why was Judah/Jerusalem facing such imminent destruction? Because they had turned away from God’s Word. They were not as blatant (initially) in their idolatry as the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Israel had gone straight into idolatry, full-on. Israel’s decline and destruction (at the hand of the Assyrians) was swifter. Instead, Judah did not run straightway into idolatry. Judah began by redefining and re-prioritizing God’s Word to the point where they elevated worldly, secular values over the Bible’s articulated standard.
And this is the case with the Church in our day. When people (including church leaders) step away from God’s Word as the ONLY authority and counsel, they establish a system of so-called “righteousness” apart from God’s will. But God does not want us to take our cues from the world. He wants everyone to KNOW, TRUST and OBEY His Word, and let it guide every moment of every day.
“This is the command—the statutes and ordinances—the Lord your God has instructed me to teach you, so that you may follow them in the land you are about to enter and possess. Do this so that you may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life by keeping all His statutes and commands I am giving you, your son, and your grandson, and so that you may have a long life. Listen, Israel, and be careful to follow them, so that you may prosper and multiply greatly, because YHWH, the God of your fathers, has promised you 'a land flowing with milk and honey.' Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deuteronomy 6:1-7