THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part XVI: God's Condemnation For Judah's Rejection Of His Words
A. God holds people accountable to what His Word has told them when He judges them, for John 12:48 has Jesus claiming that the "word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
B. Jeremiah 6:10-21 expresses this truth in Jeremiah's ministry to the people of Judah, and it provides us insight and application for our era (as follows):
II. God's Condemnation For Judah's Rejection Of His Words, Jeremiah 6:10-21 NIV.
A. In Jeremiah 6:10-12, Jeremiah clarified that judgment would fall on Judah for rejecting his message from God:
1. In Jeremiah 6:10a, Jeremiah explained that the ears of the people were closed so they could not hear his message, and he rhetorically asked to whom could he speak and warn and who would listen to him!
2. He explained in Jeremiah 6:10b that the people had closed their ears since God's word was offensive to them -- they found no pleasure in it. Jeremiah's exposure of their sins and of their need to repent mixed with his hearers' rebellion against God understandably left the people viewing his message as unappealing.
3. Nevertheless, Jeremiah was full of the wrath of God against Judah's sins to where he could not hold it in -- he had to speak, Jeremiah 6:11a. Accordingly, the Lord directed him to pour forth the message of God's wrath on the children in the street, on the young men gathered together, on husbands and wives together, on the aged who were weighed down in years, for the houses of the whole social structure in Judah would be turned over to invaders along with their fields and their wives in judgment, Jeremiah 6:11b-12.
B. In rejecting God's word through Jeremiah, the people had accepted the words of false prophets, Jer. 6:13-15:
1. Jeremiah noted that from the least to the greatest in Judah's society, everyone was greedy for gain, that the false prophets and apostate priests alike all practiced deceit in their ministries, Jeremiah 6:13.
2. These men dressed the wound of the spiritual apostasy of God's people as though the wound was not serious, saying "Peace, peace" when there was no peace in their future, Jeremiah 6:14.
3. Besides, these false prophets and apostate priests were not ashamed of their loathsome conduct in thus deceiving the people, not even knowing how to blush they were so calloused against the truth, Jer. 6:15a.
4. For this reason, these false prophets and apostate priests would fall among the rest who were slain by the invading Babylonian soldiers; they would be brought down when God thus punished them, Jer. 6:15b.
C. Trying to get Judah's people to turn to His truth, the Lord urged them to stand at the crossroads of choosing which message to hear, Jeremiah's word or the words of the false prophets and apostate priests, and there to ask for the ancient paths of known past godly prophets, good paths they could traverse to find rest to their souls, Jer. 6:16a. However, even then, the people refused to heed their Old Testament prophets, Jer. 6:16b.
D. God declared He had often appointed watchmen, that is, sending them prophets in later generations to warn of the sound of the trumpet of an invading army in judgment, but they said they would not listen, Jeremiah 6:17.
E. For their repeat rejection of His Word in any of its presentations, God said He would judge Judah, v. 18-19:
1. The Lord called the Gentile nations and His witnesses to hear what would happen to His people, Jer. 6:18.
2. He called the earth to hear that He was bringing disaster on Judah, the fruit of her own schemes of evil, for her people had not listened to His Words and had rejected even His written Old Testament Law, Jer. 6:19.
F. The Lord's specific actions of judgment are described in Jeremiah 6:20-21 (as follows):
1. God complained that He took no pleasure in expensive incense from Sheba or sweet calamus from some distant land, for the burnt offerings offered with these spices were not acceptable and their sacrifices did not please Him because of the wicked lives the people lived in rejecting God's Word, Jeremiah 6:20.
2. Thus, the Lord said He would put obstacles before Judah's people so that fathers and sons would stumble over them, that neighbors and friends would both perish, Jer. 6:21. These obstacles likely referred to the invading Babylonians who would destroy their entire way of life, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1139.
Lesson: For rejecting God's Word not only from Jeremiah, but from previous godly prophets and even from the written Old Testament writings themselves, opting instead for the lying words of their false prophets and of their apostate priests, the people of Judah were destined for God's comprehensive, devastating judgment.
Application: May we heed God's Word with great diligence, for He holds us completely accountable for doing so.