June 18, 2021
"But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help. Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal..."
“But look, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help. Do you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known? Then do you come and stand before Me in this house called by My name and insist: We are safe? As a result, you are free to continue doing all these detestable acts! Has this house, which is called by name, become a den of robbers in your view? Yes, I to have seen it.” Jeremiah 7:8-11
One cannot read today’s passage without thinking about Jesus clearing the temple.
“They came to Jerusalem, and He (Jesus) went into the Temple complex and began to throw out those buying and selling in the Temple. He overturned the moneychangers’ tables and the chairs of those selling doves and would not permit anyone to carry goods through the Temple complex. Then he began to teach them: ‘Is it not written, My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations, but you have made it into a den of robbers!” Mark 11:15-17
So, what is the source of such evil in the Lord’s house? The people had abandoned God’s Word and chosen to trust in deceitful words. Those words, which please the listener with false promises and infuriate the Lord. When Jesus was clearing the Temple, He was harkening to Israel’s past apostasy and God’s judgment of it; addressing their present-day apostasy; and prophesying that the temple would, once again, be destroyed unless the people repented.
When I travel to Israel in the summers, I always visit the “old city,” Jerusalem. A visit to Jerusalem is never complete without some time at the Western Wall. Perhaps, you have seen pictures of that site, hundreds of Orthodox Jews (and tourists) praying. The site where they are gathered to is actually part of the remains of the support/foundation for the Temple mount. None of the actual Temple remains; it was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Most visitors at the Western Wall ask, “Why would the Lord allow for His Temple to be destroyed?” I’m always soberly reminded of today’s chapter, and especially verses 12-15.
“But return to My place that was at Shiloh, where I made My name dwell first. See what I did to it because of the evil of My people Israel. Now, because you have done all these things – this is the Lord’s declaration – and because I have spoken to you time and time again, but you wouldn’t listen, and I have called to you, but you wouldn’t answer, what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that is called by My name – the house in which you trust – the place that I gave to you and your ancestors. I will drive you from My presence, just as I drove out all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.” Jeremiah 12-15
Oh Lord, as we search your Word each day, teach us what You require of us, that we may be a people who are holy and pleasing to You!