Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
A. The Cause, Result And Cure For The Apostasy Of God's People
(Jeremiah 2:1-3:5)
  1. Introduction
    1. The departure from God not only in our culture, but even in Christendom seems to be all too constant.
    2. Yet, apostasy is not necessary, for God made provision for us not even to sin, cf. 1 John 2:1!
    3. Thus, it is to our advantage to study the cause, result and cure for apostasy, something Jeremiah 2:1-3:5 offers by way of the historical record as follows:
  2. The Cause, Result and Cure For The Apostasy Of God's People, Jeremiah 2:1-3:5.
    1. God revealed Judah had committed two evils in her apostasy that are summarized in Jeremiah 2:13:
      1. Judah had first departed from the Lord, the Source of living waters or blessings, Jeremiah 2:13b.
      2. Then, to replace the vacuum left by rejecting the Lord, Judah had concocted by her own efforts in idolatry cisterns (idols) to obtain blessings (water) only to yield broken, worthless cisterns, Jer. 2:13c.
    2. Judah's performing these two tragic, calamitous evils had been influenced by wayward leaders, 2:8:
      1. God revealed Judah's priests who handled God's Word and who thus were supposed to heed God and His Word and teach His people about Him neither knew God nor did they SEEK to known Him, 2:8a.
      2. Similarly, the nations kings (shepherds) had not heeded God's Word, either, Jeremiah 2:8b.
      3. Even the prophets who were supposed to call the people, priests and kings back to God and His Word had prophesied instead by the false, pagan god Baal errant messages that misled their hearers, 2:8c.
      4. Thus, Judah's leaders had influenced the nation to go into apostasy, Ryr. St. Bib., KJV, ftn. to Jer. 2:8.
    3. Accordingly, God revealed His case against Judah, showing she was ripe for judgment, Jeremiah 2:1-3:5:
      1. God responded to Judah's apostate condition by claiming He intended to plead His case with her, 2:9.
      2. This pleading is laid out in moving, poetic form in Jeremiah 2:1-3:5 as follows:
        1. First, God lamented the loss of close fellowship with Him that His people had enjoyed when He gently nurtured her in the wilderness travels during Israel's departure from Egypt, Jeremiah 2:1-3.
        2. Then, the Lord asked what wrong existed in Himself that Judah had forsaken this rewarding fellowship with Him to follow the worthlessness of pagan idols, Jeremiah 2:4-7.
        3. In verses 10-12, God revealed that, worse than the pagan nations around Judah that were at least faithful to their own false gods, Judah had exchanged her true god for worthless, pagan idols!
        4. The Lord then itemized the troubles that had come upon His people for this idolatry, Jer. 2:14-21.
        5. So inexcusable and awful was her waywardness, Judah could not justify herself before God, 2:22; God even described Judah's apostate attitude as one that longed for sin like an animal in heat might lustfully rush about looking for a mate, Jeremiah 2:23-25.
        6. Building on the uselessness of Judah's trying to get God to help her from the trials caused by her sin, and that by concocting some form of false contrition or self-justification in her coming to Him (Jer. 2:26-27), in judgment, God suggested she try to get help from her false, futile gods, Jeremiah 2:28.
        7. Accordingly, the Lord revealed that Judah's hardness toward Him had reached such an intolerable point that He would punish her for her sin and obstinate self-righteousness before Him, 2:29-3:5.
Lesson: (1) Judah's apostasy had risen from (a) the failure of the priests to apply Scripture in their own lives and then to teach it to others, (b) from government leaders not heeding the Word (c) and even from prophets who failed to call the people back to God due to their exchanging God's truth for the false, popular beliefs of the Baal worship of their day. (d) This had led Judah to depart from God and (e) to cleave to idols that could not bless, and (f) that ended in judgment. Hence, (2) the CURE for apostasy is (a) a RETURN by LEADERS to SCRIPTURE applied to their OWN lives and then in turn their INFLUENCING others to heed GOD'S WORD, and (b) for subordinates to heed GODLY leaders.

Application: May (1) we LEADERS cleave to SCRIPTURE in our OWN lives that we might be used of God to TEACH God's people to CLEAVE to the TRUTH and TRUE GOD; (2) may we subordinates heed those leaders who HEED God in their LIVES and TEACH His TRUE Word , 2 Timothy 3:15-4:5.