worshiping scarecrows

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worshiping scarecrows

Jeremiah 10:1-16 (JDV)

Jeremiah 10:1 Hear the word that Yahveh has spoken to you, house of Israel.

Jeremiah 10:2 This is what Yahveh says: Do not learn the way of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, although the nations are terrified by them,

Jeremiah 10:3 because the customs of the peoples are temporary. Someone cuts down a tree from the forest; it is worked by the hands of a craftsman with a chisel.

Jeremiah 10:4 He decorates it with silver and gold. It is fastened with hammer and nails, so it won’t wobble.

Jeremiah 10:5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them because they can do no harm – and they cannot do any good.

Jeremiah 10:6 Yahveh, there is no one like you. You are great; your name is great in power.

Jeremiah 10:7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? It is what you deserve. Because among all the wise people of the nations and among all their kingdoms, there is no one like you.

Jeremiah 10:8 They are both stupid and foolish, instructed by temporary idols made of wood!

Jeremiah 10:9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. The work of a craftsman and of a goldsmith’s hands is clothed in blue and purple, all the work of skilled artisans.

Jeremiah 10:10 But Yahveh is the true God; he is the living God and permanent King. The land quakes at his wrath, and the nations cannot endure his rage.

Jeremiah 10:11 You are to say this to them: “These gods that did not make the sky and the land will be destroyed from the land and from under the sky.”[1]

Jeremiah 10:12 He made the land by his power, established the world by his wisdom, and spread out the sky by his understanding.

Jeremiah 10:13 When he thunders, the waters in the sky are in turmoil, and he causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the land. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind from his storehouses.

Jeremiah 10:14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved image, because his cast images are a lie; there is no breath in them.

Jeremiah 10:15 They are temporary, a work to be mocked. At the time of their punishment they will be destroyed.

Jeremiah 10:16 Jacob’s Portion is not like these because he is the one who formed all things. Israel is the tribe of his inheritance; Yahveh of Armies is his name.

worshiping scarecrows

Jeremiah appeals to his nation because they should know better. They are following the pagan nations all around them, and trusting in the temporary things, instead of the God who is permanent, who made everything.

Jeremiah pokes fun of these useless idols by likening them to scarecrows in a cucumber patch. That’s about all they are good for – to keep the birds away.

Our generation thinks it is above the foolishness of idolatry, but it is not. People still trust in temporary things, and then come to a point in their lives when they realize that those temporary things cannot give them peace of mind or purpose of life. They have worshiped scarecrows, and there is nothing else.

Lord, draw us to yourself, and give us the courage to burn our scarecrows.

______________________

[1] This verse is the center of a chiasm (10:2-16) and appears to have been highlighted by Jeremiah by its having been written in Aramaic instead of Hebrew!

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under-appreciating God

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under-appreciating God

Jeremiah 9:17-26 (JDV)

Jeremiah 9:17 This is what Yahveh of Armies says: Consider this closely, and summon the women who mourn; send for the skillful women.

Jeremiah 9:18 Let them come quickly to raise a lament over us so that our eyes may flow with tears, our eyelids be soaked with weeping.

Jeremiah 9:19 Because a sound of lamentation is soon to be heard from Zion: How devastated we are. We are greatly ruined, because we have abandoned the land; our dwellings have been torn down.

Jeremiah 9:20 Now hear the word of Yahveh, you women. Pay attention to the words from his mouth. Teach your daughters a lament and one another a dirge,

Jeremiah 9:21 because Death has climbed in through our windows; it has entered our fortresses, cutting off children from the streets, young men from the squares.

Jeremiah 9:22 “Speak like this: ‘This is what Yahveh declares: Human corpses will fall like manure on the surface of the field, like newly cut grain behind the reaper with no one to gather it.

Jeremiah 9:23 ” ‘This is what Yahveh says: The wise person should not boast in his wisdom; the strong should not boast in his strength; the wealthy should not boast in his wealth.

Jeremiah 9:24 But the one who boasts should boast in this: that he understands and knows me – that I am Yahveh, showing covenant faithfulness, justice, and righteousness on the land, for I delight in these things. This is what Yahveh declares.

Jeremiah 9:25 ” ‘Look, the days are coming – this is what Yahveh declares – when I will punish all the circumcised yet uncircumcised:

Jeremiah 9:26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all the inhabitants of the open country who clip the hair on their temples. All these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.'”

under-appreciating God

Benson [1] comments on verses 23-24:
“Let not men value themselves on account of their wisdom, strength, or riches, which are things in themselves of a very uncertain continuance, and such calamities are coming, in which they will stand the owners of them in very little stead. The only true, valuable endowment is the knowledge of God, not as he is in himself, which is too high an attainment for poor mortals to pretend to, but with respect to his dealings with men; to have a serious sense of his mercies to the penitent, of his judgments to the obstinate, and of his truth and integrity, in making good his promises and threatenings to both.”

The people Jeremiah was prophesying to had over-appreciated who they were, and underappreciated who God was. Death was coming to them through the windows and in the streets, and they were not prepared for it – yet they stubbornly refused to seek the only one capable of helping them.

Our generation has many such people. They need to be warned that something is coming which they cannot handle. God will either be their rescuer or their destroyer.

Lord, we appreciate who you are. Help us to share your words of warning with those who do not.

[1] Benson Commentary on the Old and New Testaments.

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after we weep

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after we weep

Jeremiah 9:3-16 (JDV)

Jeremiah 9:3 They bent their tongue like their bow; lies and not faithfulness are strong in the land, because they go from evil to evil, and they do not take me into account. this is what Yahveh declares.

Jeremiah 9:4 Everyone has to be on guard against his friend. Don’t trust any brother, for every brother will certainly deceive, and every friend spread slander.

Jeremiah 9:5 Each one betrays his friend; no one tells the truth. They have taught their tongue to speak lies; they wear themselves out doing wrong.

Jeremiah 9:6 You live in a world of deception. In their deception they refuse to know me. This is what Yahveh declares.

Jeremiah 9:7 Therefore, this is what Yahveh of Armies says: I am about to refine them and test them, because what else can I do because of my dear people?

Jeremiah 9:8 Their tongue is a deadly arrow – they speak deception. With his mouth one speaks peaceably with his friend, but inwardly he sets up an ambush.

Jeremiah 9:9 Should I not punish them for these things? this is what Yahveh declares. Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?

Jeremiah 9:10 I will lift up weeping and a lament over the mountains, a dirge over the open country grazing land, because they have been so scorched that no one passes through. The sound of cattle is no longer heard. From the birds of the sky to the animals, everything has escaped – they have gone away.

Jeremiah 9:11 I will make Jerusalem a heap of rubble, a jackals’ den. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, an uninhabited place.

Jeremiah 9:12 Who is the person wise enough to understand this? Who has Yahveh spoken to, that he can explain it? Why is the land destroyed and scorched like an open country, so no one can pass through?

Jeremiah 9:13 Yahveh said, “It is because they abandoned my instruction, which I laid before them, and did not obey my voice or walk according to it.

Jeremiah 9:14 Instead, they followed the stubbornness of their heart and followed the Baals like their fathers taught them.”

Jeremiah 9:15 Therefore, this is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to feed this people wormwood and give them poisonous water to drink.

Jeremiah 9:16 I will scatter them among the nations that they and their fathers have not known. I will send a sword after them until I have finished them off.”

after we weep

Karen Hall [1] describes Jeremiah as “the weeping prophet” who “had much for which to weep. He was talking to an adulterous, unfaithful, lying people. Going from “one sin to another” they chose evil rather than acknowledging God. Jeremiah was angry, but full of compassion. It is easy to read through this chapter and substitute the events of our world for what was happening then.”

She suggests that our response to our generation should be the same: “Weep first, then become angry, then show compassion for the people of our world who do not know our Lord.” Surely our compassion is shown best the way Jeremiah showed it. He let his people know what God was thinking. It’s appropriate to weep over the evil around us. But we also need to speak up, because God is going to condemn people for their rebellious acts and lying tongues.

Lord, we are weeping over the evil all around us. Show us how to bring this rebellious world back to your truth.

[1] Maranatha Daily Devotional. “First We Weep.” Thursday, November 5, 2015.

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broken by our brokenness

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broken by our brokenness

Jeremiah 8:18-9:2 (JDV)

Jeremiah 8:18 My joy has flown away; grief has settled on me. My heart is sick.

Jeremiah 8:19 Notice, listen – the cry of my dear people from a faraway land, “Is Yahveh no longer in Zion, her King not within her?” Why have they provoked me with their carved images, with their temporary foreign idols?

Jeremiah 8:20 Harvest has passed, summer has ended, but we have not been delivered.

Jeremiah 8:21 I am broken by the brokenness of my dear people. I mourn; horror has taken hold of me.

Jeremiah 8:22 Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? So why has the healing of my dear people not come about?

Jeremiah 9:1 If my head were a flowing spring, my eyes a fountain of tears, I would weep day and night over the victims [1] among my dear people. [2]

Jeremiah 9:2 If only I had a traveler’s lodging place in the open country, I would abandon my people and depart from them, because they are all adulterers, a solemn assembly of traitors.

broken by our brokenness

Jeremiah weeps because he is reflecting the sorrow of God, the mourning of the Lord who sits alone in an empty field, and the harvest has passed, and there has been no deliverance.

Yes, this is the same God who sent the foreign invaders to devour his people from the land. But that does not change the fact that God is broken by their brokenness. He mourns their loss. He is horrified by their situation.

We serve a God who embraces the shame of our brokenness. Our Lord Jesus showed us that by breaking the bread, after he told us that it represents his body. He knows the brokenness that sin creates, and he has taken that brokenness upon himself, so that we can be healed.

Thank you, Lord, for being broken by our brokenness – for making a way of healing for us through the cross.

_______________________

[1] חָלָל = victim. Jeremiah 9:1; 14:18; 25:33; 41:9; 51:4, 47, 49, 52.
[2] Jeremiah 9:- 1-26 in English Bibles are 8:23-9:25 in the Hebrew.

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battle horse

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battle horse

Jeremiah 8:4-17 (JDV)

Jeremiah 8:4 “You are to say to them: This is what Yahveh says: Do people fall and not get up again? If they turn away, do they not turn back?

Jeremiah 8:5 Why have these people turned away? Why is Jerusalem always rebelling? They take hold of a lie; they refuse to turn back.

Jeremiah 8:6 I have listened and paid careful attention. They do not speak what is right. No one regrets his evil, asking, ‘What have I done? ‘ Everyone has stayed his course like a horse rushing headlong into battle.

Jeremiah 8:7 Even storks in the sky know their seasons. Turtledoves, swallows, and cranes are aware of their migration, but my people do not know the requirements of Yahveh.

Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you claim, ‘We are wise; the instruction of Yahveh is with us’? Notice, the lying pen of scribes has produced falsehood.

Jeremiah 8:9 The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and snared. Notice, they have rejected the word of Yahveh, so what wisdom do they really have?

Jeremiah 8:10 Therefore, I will give their wives to other men, their fields to new occupants, for from the least to the greatest, everyone is making profit dishonestly. From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.

Jeremiah 8:11 They have treated the brokenness of my dear people minimally, claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they acted so detestably? They weren’t at all ashamed. They can no longer feel humiliation. Therefore, they will fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they will collapse,” says Yahveh.

Jeremiah 8:13 I will gather them and bring them to an end. This is what Yahveh declares. There will be no grapes on the vine, no figs on the fig tree, and even the leaf will wilt. Whatever I have given them will be lost to them.

Jeremiah 8:14 What are we sitting for? Gather together; let us enter the fortified cities and perish there, because Yahveh our God has destroyed us. He has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have failed Yahveh.

Jeremiah 8:15 We hoped for peace, but there was nothing good; for a time of healing, but notice—there was only terror.

Jeremiah 8:16 From Dan, the snorting of horses is heard. At the sound of the neighing of mighty steeds, the whole land quakes. They come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and all its residents.

Jeremiah 8:17 Notice, I am about to send snakes among you, poisonous vipers that cannot be charmed. They will bite you. This is what Yahveh declares.

battle horse

Jeremiah condemns his people because they knew they were sinning against the Lord but they just kept on sinning. He compared them to a battle horse, who is trained to keep running straight into the conflict.

As a consequence of this stubborn sinfulness, the Lord is going to send battle horses from the enemy. From the north (Dan) these foreign invaders will come and devour the land and its people.

Lord, forgive us for our stubborn sinfulness. Teach us your ways.

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Ben Hinnom Valley

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Ben Hinnom Valley

Jeremiah 7:30-8:3 (JDV)

Jeremiah 7:30 “You see, the sons of Judah have done what is evil in my eyes.” This is what Yahveh declares. “They have set up their repulsive things in the house that bears my name in order to defile it.

Jeremiah 7:31 They have built the high places of Topheth in Ben Hinnom Valley in order to burn their sons and daughters in the fire, a thing I did not command; It never entered my heart.

Jeremiah 7:32 “So, notice, the days are coming” – this is what Yahveh declares – “when this place will no longer be called Topheth and Ben Hinnom Valley, but the Valley of Slaughter. Topheth will become a cemetery, because there will be no other burial place.

Jeremiah 7:33 The corpses of these people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land, with no one to scare them away.

Jeremiah 7:34 I will remove from the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem the sound of joy and gladness and the voices of the groom and the bride, because the land will become a desolate waste.

Jeremiah 8:1 “At that time” – this is what Yahveh declares – “the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of her officials, the bones of the priests, the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem will be brought out of their graves.

Jeremiah 8:2 They will be exposed to the sun, the moon, and all the stars in the sky, which they have loved, served, followed, consulted, and worshiped. Their bones will not be collected and buried but will become like manure on the soil’s surface.

Jeremiah 8:3 Death will be chosen instead of life by all the remainder of this evil family, those who remain wherever I have banished them.” This is what Yahveh of Armies declares.

Ben Hinnom Valley

Ezekiel saw a vision of dead bones rising again (37:1-14), and his prophecy is brought down to us in history in the Bible and we remember it because of a joyful spiritual song. But nobody made a song about Jeremiah’s prophecy about bones. It’s the other side of the story.

Jeremiah predicted the dissolution and death of the royal family of Judah, together with all the priests and officials of Jerusalem at his time. The Lord would destroy them, wiping them out of existence because of their betrayal and idolatry – even murdering their own children in order to appease pagan gods.

In Jeremiah’s prophecy, the bones of these rulers and those who followed them will be exhumed, and piled on the ground, and the whole valley will be exposed to the open sky – to those things they worshiped.

The idea was so repulsive to the Israelites that they would tell their children about that awful place as a symbol of God’s final judgment. This terrible cemetery of the future, where everything is dead and exposed became a synonym for the final judgment of the wicked itself. This Valley of Slaughter would take place in Ben Hinnom valley. The Greek term would be Gehenna. This is what Jesus was talking about when he warned people to fear God, because he is able to destroy soul and body in Gehenna (Matthew 10:28).

Lord, rescue us from the future terrible fate of those who reject you.

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not a waste of time

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not a waste of time

Jeremiah 7:16-29 (JDV)

Jeremiah 7:16 “And you, do not pray for these people. Do not cry out or a petition me on their behalf, and do not beg me, because I will not listen to you.

Jeremiah 7:17 Just look at their behavior in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem.

Jeremiah 7:18 The sons gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead dough to make cakes for the queen of the sky, and they pour out drink offerings to other gods so that they provoke me.

Jeremiah 7:19 But are they really provoking me?” This is what Yahveh declares. “Isn’t it they themselves being provoked to shame?”

Jeremiah 7:20 Therefore, this is what Yahveh God says: “Notice, my anger – my burning wrath – is about to be poured out on this place, on people and animals, on the tree of the field, and on the produce of the land. My wrath will burn and not be quenched.”

Jeremiah 7:21 This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices, and eat the meat yourselves,

Jeremiah 7:22 because when I brought your fathers out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak with them or command them concerning burnt offering and sacrifice.

Jeremiah 7:23 But I did give them this command: ‘Obey me, and then I will be your God, and you will be my people. Follow every way I command you so that it may go well with you.’

Jeremiah 7:24 Yet they didn’t listen or pay attention but followed their own advice and their own stubborn, evil heart. They went backward and not forward.

Jeremiah 7:25 since the day your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until today, I have sent all my servants the prophets to you time and time again.

Jeremiah 7:26 But they wouldn’t listen to me or pay attention but became obstinate; they did more evil than their fathers.

Jeremiah 7:27 “When you speak all these things to them, they will not listen to you. When you call to them, they will not answer you.

Jeremiah 7:28 Therefore, declare to them, ‘This is the nation that would not listen to Yahveh their God and would not accept discipline. Truth has been destroyed—it has disappeared from their mouths.

Jeremiah 7:29 Cut off the hair of your sacred vow and throw it away. Raise up a dirge on the barren heights, because Yahveh has rejected and abandoned this generation under his wrath.’

not a waste of time

God’s word to Jeremiah was that the generation he was sent to declare the word of God to was rejected and abandoned. The great revival he wanted would not happen. The reversal of the people’s backward movement away from God would not happen. They were a lost cause.

So, why did God send Jeremiah? Was his life a futile, unnecessary waste of time?

No, Jeremiah’s words would remain. His witness to God’s passion for his rejected people would reach forward into the future, even to our time.

I challenge you, friend. If God is giving you a message to speak, speak it. It does not matter if nobody seems to be listening to your sermons, or reading your posts, or taking your advice. Testifying to God’s truth is never a waste of time.

Lord, give us the courage to keep testifying your truth.

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temporary temple

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temporary temple

Jeremiah 7:1-15 (JDV)

Jeremiah 7:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from Yahveh. This is what it said:

Jeremiah 7:2 “Stand in the gate of the house of Yahveh and call out this word there: ‘Hear the word of Yahveh, all you people of Judah who have passed through these gates to worship Yahveh.

Jeremiah 7:3 ” ‘This is what Yahveh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Correct your ways and your actions, and I will allow you to continue living in this place.

Jeremiah 7:4 Stop trusting deceitful words, which chant, “These buildings are the temple of Yahveh, the temple of Yahveh, the temple of Yahveh.”

Jeremiah 7:5 Instead, if you really correct your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another,

Jeremiah 7:6 Stop oppressing the guest, orphan, and widow and stop shedding innocent blood in this place or following other gods, bringing harm on yourselves,

Jeremiah 7:7 I will allow you to continue living in this place, the land I gave to your fathers long ago and permanently.

Jeremiah 7:8 But notice, you keep trusting in deceitful words that cannot help.

Jeremiah 7:9 ” ‘Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and follow other gods that you have not known?

Jeremiah 7:10 Then do you come and stand before me in this house that bears my name and say, “We are safe, so we can continue doing all these detestable acts”?

Jeremiah 7:11 Has this house, which bears my name, become a hideout for robbers in your view? Notice, I too have seen it. This is what Yahveh declares.

Jeremiah 7:12 ” ‘But return to my place that was at Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first. See what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel.

Jeremiah 7:13 Now, because you have done all these things – this is what Yahveh declares – 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,

Jeremiah 7:14 what I did to Shiloh I will do to the house that bears my name – the house in which you trust – the place that I gave you and your fathers.

Jeremiah 7:15 I will banish you from my presence, just as I banished all of your brothers, all the descendants of Ephraim.’

temporary temple

Joe Pritchett relates this story to Jeremiah 7:

“A young woman took notice of an elderly shut-in lady connected to her church. The young woman decided to surprise her with a home-made chocolate cake one Friday afternoon. The elderly lady thanked her profusely. Her response pleased the young woman, so she decided to do it weekly. After the third week, the elderly lady asked if she could bring the cakes on Wednesdays so that she could serve them to her bridge club on Thursdays. Two weeks later, she told the young woman that her club preferred lemon cakes, so she should bring lemon instead. One week, the young woman was ill and could not prepare a cake. The elderly lady called to berate the young woman for being inconsiderate and unreliable because she did not bring her a cake that week!”[1]
How quick we all are to take blessings for granted, and to assume they will always be there. Jeremiah’s people thought the temple would be a permanent fixture, but Jeremiah reminded them of Shiloh. Nothing is permanent for people who reject God’s word.

Lord, build in us a lasting appreciation for your word.

[1] Maranatha Daily Devotional. Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

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rejected silver

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rejected silver

Jeremiah 6:22-30 (JDV)

Jeremiah 6:22 This is what Yahveh says: Notice, a people will come from a northern land; a large nation will be stirred up from the remote regions of the land.

Jeremiah 6:23 They grasp bow and javelin. They are cruel and show no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, lined up like men in battle formation against you, Daughter Zion.

Jeremiah 6:24 We have heard about it, and our hands hang limp. We have lost our battle strength—pain, like a woman in labor.

Jeremiah 6:25 Don’t go out to the countryside; don’t walk on the road, because the enemy has a sword; terror surrounds us.

Jeremiah 6:26 My dear people, dress yourselves in sackcloth and roll in the dust. Mourn as you would for an only son, a bitter lament, for suddenly the destroyer will come on us.

Jeremiah 6:27 I have appointed you to be a metal assayer among my people – a refiner — so you may know and assay their way of life.

Jeremiah 6:28 They are all stubborn rebels spreading slander. They are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt.

Jeremiah 6:29 The bellows blow, blasting the lead with fire. The refining is completely in vain; the evil ones are not separated out.

Jeremiah 6:30 They are called rejected silver, because Yahveh has rejected them.

rejected silver

The idea of rejected silver is that it was intended to be refined and then enjoyed as a treasure. But Jeremiah does not hold out hope for that. Instead, the refining process is completely in vain. The corruption is not separated out. You would think that the great enemy from the north would have done that. But it will take the great Friend from heaven to do it.

There is still hope for Israel, just like there is hope for you and me. But that hope is only in Christ.

Lord, refine us, make us vessels of pure silver, treasures for your sanctuary.

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incense and sweet cane

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incense and sweet cane

Jeremiah 6:16-21 (JDV)

Jeremiah 6:16 This is what Yahveh says: Stand by the crossroads and look. Ask about the path of long ago, “Which is the way to the good path?” Then take it and find rest for yourselves. But they protested, “We won’t!”

Jeremiah 6:17 I appointed watchmen over you and said, “Listen to the sound of the ram’s horn.” But they protested, “We won’t listen!”

Jeremiah 6:18 Therefore listen, you nations and you witnesses, learn what the charge is against them.

Jeremiah 6:19 Listen, land! Notice I am about to bring disaster on these people, the fruit of their own plotting, because they have paid no attention to my word. They have rejected my instruction.

Jeremiah 6:20 What purpose to me is frankincense from Sheba or sweet cane from a distant land? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable; your sacrifices do not please me.

Jeremiah 6:21 Therefore, this is what Yahveh says: Notice, I am going to place stumbling blocks before these people; fathers and sons together will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will also be destroyed.

incense and sweet cane

Jeremiah’s people thought that they could ignore what God had told them to do as long as they kept up the sacrifice rituals, and spent a little on high quality supplies for the temple. But those items of worship are useless if you have broken covenant with the one you claim to worship.

Even today, people try to buy off the God they have otherwise ignored. It does not work out any better today than it did then.

Seek the Lord while he is offering himself to be found. There will come a day when you might want to follow his path, and there will be nothing but stumbling blocks in your way.

Lord, forgive us for all those times we have refused to listen. We want to follow your path – the good path.

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