First, the Lord spoke to His people and warned them that judgment was coming. The Jews had three main ways to get military information: from the watchmen on the walls, from trumpet signals, and from signal fires lit on high places. Jeremiah’s hometown of Anathoth was in Benjamin tribal lands, so he started by warning his own neighbors to get out of Jerusalem. But still God’s people refused to listen to God’s warnings through his prophet Jeremiah. They are now at the point of no return. They will be captured and exiled to Babylon.
How close are we to the point of no return? After God’s prophets sounded the warnings of impending danger for centuries were ignored; God sent His One and Only Son to earth to seek and to save the lost who were without God. Jesus, God in flesh, spent time on earth as Son of Man and Son of God to teach people who God was, is and is to come. God had a plan to redeem people once and for all. That Plan was Jesus, the final way back to God. God’s Plan took all the sins of the world and placed them on His Son. God then turned his back on His Son with all our sins on His shoulders while Jesus stood in our place of punishment to die for our sins. The repented list of our sins are wiped clean, to be remembered no more, all because of His great love for each one of us. Our part? Believe, repent and be saved forever.
The alarms are going in our lives as we see troubles ahead if we do not change our thinking from the world to Jesus. Warnings have been preached with fiery words of compassionate to stir and refine our souls. Our point of no return will come with the final trumpet sound of the return of Jesus. When that occurs it’s too late to ask and debate: Who are we? Where will we be standing? What will we be saying? What will we be doing? When Jesus comes back, and He will, what will His words be to us? “Well done, good and faithful servant” or “depart from me—I never knew you.”
Yes, it is that serious.
Jeremiah 6, The Message
A City Full of Lies
6 1-5 “Run for your lives, children of Benjamin!
Get out of Jerusalem, and now!
Give a blast on the ram’s horn in Blastville.
Send up smoke signals from Smoketown.
Doom pours out of the north—
I have likened my dear daughter Zion
to a lovely meadow.
Well, now ‘shepherds’ from the north have discovered her
and brought in their flocks of soldiers.
They’ve pitched camp all around her,
and plan where they’ll ‘graze.’
And then, ‘Prepare to attack! The fight is on!
To arms! We’ll strike at noon!
Oh, it’s too late? Day is dying?
Evening shadows are upon us?
Well, up anyway! We’ll attack by night
and tear apart her defenses stone by stone.’”
6-8 God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave the orders:
“Chop down her trees.
Build a siege ramp against Jerusalem,
A city full of brutality,
bursting with violence.
Just as a well holds a good supply of water,
she supplies wickedness nonstop.
The streets echo the cries: ‘Violence! Rape!’
Victims, bleeding and moaning, lie all over the place.
You’re in deep trouble, Jerusalem.
You’ve pushed me to the limit.
You’re on the brink of being wiped out,
being turned into a ghost town.”
9 More orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
“Time’s up! Harvest the grapes for judgment.
Salvage what’s left of Israel.
Go back over the vines.
Pick them clean, every last grape.
Is Anybody Listening?
10-11 “I’ve got something to say. Is anybody listening?
I’ve a warning to post. Will anyone notice?
It’s hopeless! Their ears are stuffed with wax—
deaf as a post, blind as a bat.
It’s hopeless! They’ve tuned out God.
They don’t want to hear from me.
But I’m bursting with the wrath of God.
I can’t hold it in much longer.
11-12 “So dump it on the children in the streets.
Let it loose on the gangs of youth.
For no one’s exempt: Husbands and wives will be taken,
the old and those ready to die;
Their homes will be given away—
all they own, even their loved ones—
When I give the signal
against all who live in this country.”
13-15 “Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar,
little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between
twist words and doctor truth.
My people are broken—shattered!—
and they put on Band-Aids,
Saying, ‘It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.’
But things are not ‘just fine’!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
over this outrage?
No, they have no shame.
They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
God has spoken.
Death Is on the Prowl
16-20 God’s Message yet again:
“Go stand at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for directions to the old road,
The tried-and-true road. Then take it.
Discover the right route for your souls.
But they said, ‘Nothing doing.
We aren’t going that way.’
I even provided watchmen for them
to warn them, to set off the alarm.
But the people said, ‘It’s a false alarm.
It doesn’t concern us.’
And so I’m calling in the nations as witnesses:
‘Watch, witnesses, what happens to them!’
And, ‘Pay attention, Earth!
Don’t miss these bulletins.’
I’m visiting catastrophe on this people, the end result
of the games they’ve been playing with me.
They’ve ignored everything I’ve said,
had nothing but contempt for my teaching.
What would I want with incense brought in from Sheba,
rare spices from exotic places?
Your burnt sacrifices in worship give me no pleasure.
Your religious rituals mean nothing to me.”
21 So listen to this. Here’s God’s verdict on your way of life:
“Watch out! I’m putting roadblocks and barriers
on the road you’re taking.
They’ll send you sprawling,
parents and children, neighbors and friends—
and that will be the end of the lot of you.”
22-23 And listen to this verdict from God:
“Look out! An invasion from the north,
a mighty power on the move from a faraway place:
Armed to the teeth,
vicious and pitiless,
Booming like sea storm and thunder—tramp, tramp, tramp—
riding hard on war horses,
In battle formation
against you, dear Daughter Zion!”
24-25 We’ve heard the news,
and we’re as limp as wet dishrags.
We’re paralyzed with fear.
Terror has a death grip on our throats.
Don’t dare go outdoors!
Don’t leave the house!
Death is on the prowl.
26 “Dear Daughter Zion: Dress in black.
Blacken your face with ashes.
Weep most bitterly,
as for an only child.
The countdown has begun . . .
six, five, four, three . . .
The Terror is on us!”
* * *
27-30 God gave me this task:
“I have made you the examiner of my people,
to examine and weigh their lives.
They’re a thickheaded, hard-nosed bunch,
rotten to the core, the lot of them.
Refining fires are cranked up to white heat,
but the ore stays a lump, unchanged.
It’s useless to keep trying any longer.
Nothing can refine evil out of them.
Men will give up and call them ‘slag,’
thrown on the slag heap by me, their God.”
Our sin condition must break your heart. You have done all we need to be redeemed by you. You are Provider in times of trouble. You are Healer when we are sick and depressed. You are Protector through trials. You are God alone and we are not. Because of your unfailing, compassion love for us, we are saved by the sacrifice of you, dear Jesus. I believe. I repent of all sins. Show me your ways and I will walk in them. There is no greater love than what you have done for me. I choose you. I trust in you, dear Jesus. You are all I need.
In Jesus Name, Amen