Imagine some ordinary person jumping into the middle of your “make do” life with a message he says comes from God.  You’re just trying to survive the day to day.  You eek out a living so you can put food on the table and clothes on the backs of your family.  You have been pushed around and mocked as a captive of the powerful, those who play “king of the hill”, battling for who gets what in this world. 

You have given up on the God you knew from generations past.  If fact, you’re not sure your kids know what you were brought up to know about God.  You just do what the world does so you can fit in and not make waves.  It’s less trouble that way.  Doing what the world does is easier for now.  But then this guy, who cries a lot, who is not known for a sunny disposition, comes into your life to disrupt the culture.

Jeremiah, why are you all up in our grill? –Because God said so.

Jeremiah 5, The Message

Sins Are Piled Sky-High

1-2 “Patrol Jerusalem’s streets.
    Look around. Take note.
Search the market squares.
    See if you can find one man, one woman,
A single soul who does what is right
    and tries to live a true life.
    I want to forgive that person.”
        God’s Decree.
“But if all they do is say, ‘As sure as God lives . . . ’
    they’re nothing but a bunch of liars.”

3-6 But you, God,
    you have an eye for truth, don’t you?
You hit them hard, but it didn’t faze them.
    You disciplined them, but they refused correction.
Hardheaded, harder than rock,
    they wouldn’t change.
Then I said to myself, “Well, these are just poor people.
    They don’t know any better.
They were never taught anything about God.
    They never went to prayer meetings.
I’ll find some people from the best families.
    I’ll talk to them.
They’ll know what’s going on, the way God works.
    They’ll know the score.”
But they were no better! Rebels all!
    Off doing their own thing.
The invaders are ready to pounce and kill,
    like a mountain lion, a wilderness wolf,
Panthers on the prowl.
    The streets aren’t safe anymore.
And why? Because the people’s sins are piled sky-high;
    their betrayals are past counting.

7-9 “Why should I even bother with you any longer?
    Your children wander off, leaving me,
Taking up with gods
    that aren’t even gods.

I satisfied their deepest needs, and then they went off with the ‘sacred’ whores,
    left me for orgies in sex shrines!
A bunch of well-groomed, lusty stallions,
    each one pawing and snorting for his neighbor’s wife.
Do you think I’m going to stand around and do nothing?”
    God’s Decree
“Don’t you think I’ll take serious measures
    against a people like this?

Eyes That Don’t Really Look, Ears That Don’t Really Listen

10-11 “Go down the rows of vineyards and rip out the vines,
    but not all of them. Leave a few.
Prune back those vines!
    That growth didn’t come from God!
They’ve betrayed me over and over again,
    Judah and Israel both.”

        God’s Decree.

12-13 “They’ve spread lies about God.
    They’ve said, ‘There’s nothing to him.
Nothing bad will happen to us,
    neither famine nor war will come our way.
The prophets are all windbags.
    They speak nothing but nonsense.’”

14 Therefore, this is what God said to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

“Because they have talked this way,
    they are going to eat those words.
Watch now! I’m putting my words
    as fire in your mouth.
And the people are a pile of kindling
    ready to go up in flames.

15-17 “Attention! I’m bringing a far-off nation
    against you, O house of Israel.”
        God’s Decree.
“A solid nation,
    an ancient nation,
A nation that speaks another language.
    You won’t understand a word they say.
When they aim their arrows, you’re as good as dead.
    They’re a nation of real fighters!
They’ll clean you out of house and home,
    rob you of crops and children alike.
They’ll feast on your sheep and cattle,
    strip your vines and fig trees.
And the fortresses that made you feel so safe—
    leveled with a stroke of the sword!

18-19 “Even then, as bad as it will be”—God’s Decree!—“it will not be the end of the world for you. And when people ask, ‘Why did our God do all this to us?’ you must say to them, ‘This is back on you. Just as you left me and served foreign gods in your own country, so now you must serve foreigners in their own country.’

20-25 “Tell the house of Jacob this,
    put out this bulletin in Judah:
Listen to this,
    you scatterbrains, airheads,
With eyes that see but don’t really look,
    and ears that hear but don’t really listen.
Why don’t you honor me?
    Why aren’t you in awe before me?
Yes, me, who made the shorelines
    to contain the ocean waters.
I drew a line in the sand
    that cannot be crossed.
Waves roll in but cannot get through;
    breakers crash but that’s the end of them.
But this people—what a people!
    Uncontrollable, untamable runaways.
It never occurs to them to say,
    ‘How can we honor our God with our lives,
The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn
    and maintains the rhythm of the seasons,
Who sets aside time each year for harvest
    and keeps everything running smoothly for us?’
Of course you don’t! Your bad behavior blinds you to all this.
    Your sins keep my blessings at a distance.

To Stand for Nothing and Stand Up for No One

26-29 My people are infiltrated by wicked men,
    unscrupulous men on the hunt.
They set traps for the unsuspecting.
    Their victims are innocent men and women.
Their houses are stuffed with ill-gotten gain,
    like a hunter’s bag full of birds.
Pretentious and powerful and rich,
    hugely obese, oily with rolls of fat.
Worse, they have no conscience.
    Right and wrong mean nothing to them.

They stand for nothing, stand up for no one,
    throw orphans to the wolves, exploit the poor.
Do you think I’ll stand by and do nothing about this?”
    God’s Decree.
“Don’t you think I’ll take serious measures
    against a people like this?

* * *

30-31 “Unspeakable! Sickening!
    What’s happened in this country?
Prophets preach lies
    and priests hire on as their assistants.
And my people love it. They eat it up!
    But what will you do when it’s time to pick up the pieces?”


God commanded Jeremiah to conduct a search of all the city of Jerusalem. If He discovered just one righteous person, the Lord would forgive the wicked city and call off the invasion. Sound familiar? The background for this action sermon is God’s agreement with Abraham to spare Sodom if the city had ten righteous people (Genesis 18:22–33).  God uses us to assess the sin of our culture so we can sound the alarm.  They way we treat each other is in direct correlation to how we treat God.

Survey says…When Jeremiah’s survey was concluded, he had found not one person who was honest and truthful. These days we learn of new technological advances weekly; we’re surrounded by change. But human nature has not changed. What Jeremiah found in his day, we find today, don’t we?  What would be the results of a God-survey today?  It’s been done…often.  Google George Barna, Christian statistician of our day.

This is the heart of the matter: Since the people did not believe God’s Word, they turned their backs on God and went their own way.  The Jews had forsaken the Lord and served idols in their own land. Now they would be temporarily forsaken by the Lord and taken to Babylon, where they would serve idols in a foreign land.  Sin compounds sin.

ANY GOOD NEWS?  YES!  “In this bleak pronouncement, God gives good news. Later we see this prediction fulfilled: Eventually a remnant returned to Judah from Babylon after the captivity and restored the nation, rebuilt the temple, and maintained the testimony, preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah. God had covenanted with Abraham that through his descendants all the world would be blessed (Genesis 12:1–3), and God kept His promise.” –Warren Wiersbe, “Wiersbe Study Bible”

Jeremiah, a plain man, boldly spoke God’s message.  “Getting up in the grill”, face to face, with God’s people probably angered them, but it didn’t shake them out of their complacency.  The rich got richer, the poor, poorer.  The courts were corrupt, the prophets were liars, the priests went right along with them—and the people approved what was done and enjoyed it! A nation that is corrupt has no hope.

Jesus is our Hope.  The promised Messiah came, died and rose again, to save us.  Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life.  Believe and be saved.


Thank you for Jeremiah and other prophets who obeyed your call to speak your message of love and care, protection, and provision for those who believe.  You just want us to love you back.  Why do we turn from all that is good?  Thank you for bringing me back to you years ago.  Thank you for continuing to teach me your ways. Thank you for forgiveness, mercy, and grace because of your deep love.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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1 Response to ALL UP IN OUR GRILL!

  1. Getting up in someone’s grill does no good if they have no eyes to see or ears to hear. Good post!


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