THE SADNESS OF SIN

Jeremiah wept over the sad spiritual condition of the people, and this is one reason he is known as the weeping prophet. Today, finding tears either in the pulpit or the pews is unusual, with the emphasis in church seeming to be enjoyment. After all, we want people to leave in good spirits, right?  Mm.  As ministers of the gospel, we have all felt like Jeremiah at times; there is no denying it.  When the troubles of the people we minister to, the sins of the lost we pour out our hearts to with the message of salvation, along with seeing the consequences of living the opposite of God’s ways overwhelm us—and we weep. 

We are human and have our own challenges with keeping our own hearts in check with God.  Sometimes we want to run and hideout for a while, too!  Jeremiah would rather have fled from the people to a place of peace but he knew that his calling was to stay and minister God’s Word. His soul was grieved at the sins of the people—their immorality, idolatry, deception, and slander. Truth was a precious commodity; a person couldn’t even trust his or her friends and relatives.  This is the sadness of sin.  And we weep.

Jeremiah 9, The Message

1-2 I wish my head were a well of water
    and my eyes fountains of tears
So I could weep day and night
    for casualties among my dear, dear people.
At times I wish I had a wilderness hut,
    a backwoods cabin,
Where I could get away from my people
    and never see them again.
They’re a faithless, feckless bunch,
    a congregation of degenerates.

* * *

3-6 Their tongues shoot out lies
    like a bow shoots arrows—
A mighty army of liars,
    the sworn enemies of truth.
They advance from one evil to the next,
    ignorant of me.”
        God’s Decree.
“Be wary of even longtime neighbors.
    Don’t even trust your grandmother!
Brother schemes against brother,
    like old cheating Jacob.
Friend against friend
    spreads malicious gossip
.
Neighbors gyp neighbors,
    never telling the truth.
They’ve trained their tongues to tell lies,
    and now they can’t tell the truth.
They pile wrong upon wrong, stack lie upon lie,
    and refuse to know me.
        God’s Decree.

7-9 Therefore, God-of-the-Angel-Armies says:

“Watch this! I’ll melt them down
    and see what they’re made of.
What else can I do
    with a people this wicked?
Their tongues are poison arrows!
    Deadly lies stream from their mouths.
Neighbor greets neighbor with a smile,
    ‘Good morning! How’re things?’
    while scheming to do away with him.
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?

10-11 “I’m lamenting the loss of the mountain pastures.
    I’m chanting dirges for the old grazing grounds.
They’ve become deserted wastelands too dangerous for travelers.
    No sounds of sheep bleating or cattle mooing.
Birds and wild animals, all gone.
    Nothing stirring, no sounds of life.
I’m going to make Jerusalem a pile of rubble,
    fit for nothing but stray cats and dogs.
I’m going to reduce Judah’s towns to piles of ruins
    where no one lives!”

* * *

12 I asked, “Is there anyone around bright enough to tell us what’s going on here? Anyone who has the inside story from God and can let us in on it?

“Why is the country wasted?

“Why no travelers in this desert?”

13-15 God’s answer: “Because they abandoned my plain teaching. They wouldn’t listen to anything I said, refused to live the way I told them to. Instead they lived any way they wanted and took up with the Baal gods, who they thought would give them what they wanted—following the example of their parents.” And this is the consequence. God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so:

“I’ll feed them with pig slop.

“I’ll give them poison to drink.

16 “Then I’ll scatter them far and wide among godless peoples that neither they nor their parents have ever heard of, and I’ll send Death in pursuit until there’s nothing left of them.”

A Life That Is All Outside but No Inside

17-19 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:

Look over the trouble we’re in and call for help.
    Send for some singers who can help us mourn our loss.
Tell them to hurry—
    to help us express our loss and lament,
Help us get our tears flowing,
    make tearful music of our crying.
Listen to it!
    Listen to that torrent of tears out of Zion:
‘We’re a ruined people,
    we’re a shamed people!
We’ve been driven from our homes
    and must leave our land!’”

* * *

20-21 Mourning women! Oh, listen to God’s Message!
    Open your ears. Take in what he says.
Teach your daughters songs for the dead
    and your friends the songs of heartbreak.
Death has climbed in through the window,
    broken into our bedrooms.
Children on the playgrounds drop dead,
    and young men and women collapse at their games.

22 Speak up! “God’s Message:

“‘Dead bodies everywhere, scattered at random
    like sheep and goat dung in the fields,
Like wheat cut down by reapers
    and left to rot where it falls.’”

23-24 God’s Message:

“Don’t let the wise brag of their wisdom.
    Don’t let heroes brag of their exploits.
Don’t let the rich brag of their riches.
    If you brag, brag of this and this only:
That you understand and know me.
    I’m God, and I act in loyal love.
I do what’s right and set things right and fair,
    and delight in those who do the same things.
These are my trademarks.”
    God’s Decree.

* * *

25-26 “Stay alert! It won’t be long now”—God’s Decree!—“when I will personally deal with everyone whose life is all outside but no inside: Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab. All these nations are big on performance religion—including Israel, who is no better.”

WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?

Should we pretend that all is well when the world is not well?  Being God’s covenant people offers no escape from judgment. If anything, their favored relationship with the Lord invited an even greater judgment; for everyone to whom much is given, from that person much will be required says Jesus.  (See Luke 12:48).

Warren Wiersbe relates; “Being God’s covenant people offers no assurance of spiritual understanding. No amount of education, power, or wealth—three attributes the world today depends on and boasts about—can guarantee God’s blessing. God doesn’t delight in a nation’s learning, political influence, armies, or gross national product. He delights in a people who practice kindness, justice, and righteousness because they know and fear the Lord. God promises covenant blessings to those who obey Him, not to those who only submit to religious ceremonies.”

“I’m God, and I act in loyal love.  I do what’s right and set things right and fair, and delight in those who do the same things.  These are my trademarks.” –God

Lord,

I repent of trying to please others that leads nowhere and is not helpful or truthful for anyone concerned.  Help me to please you alone, to follow your ways that you taught us, dear Jesus.  Help us to seek justice (what is right in your word), love mercy and walk humbly with you.  Thank you for delighting in us as we walk with you.  You are life, love, mercy and generous grace.  Thank you for always being with us.

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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