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

Part IV: Prophecies Concerning Judah
F. Shifting From Relying On Our Spiritual Heritage To Relying On The Lord
(Jeremiah 7:1-8:3)
  1. Introduction
    1. Two thousand years of Church History are behind us, so we draw richly from the insight and testimonies of many spiritual giants: people like Athanasius, Martin Luther, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, A. W. Tozer and Harry Ironside have given us much in terms of our Christian heritage.
    2. However, depending on our spiritual heritage instead of the Lord is deep error, for God never intends for anything to replace Himself as our Lord! This lesson is clearly presented to us in Jeremiah 7:1-8:3:
  2. Shifting From Relying On Our Heritage To Relying On The Lord, Jeremiah 7:1-8:3.
    1. Judah had come to trust in her heritage to protect her from invading Gentiles instead of heeding the Lord Who had provided for the nation even to have such a heritage, Jer. 7:1-4 with 2 Kings 18:13-19:37:
      1. God called Jeremiah to stand in the gate of the Jerusalem temple and give a message there to all in Judah who passed through that gate to worship the Lord, Jeremiah 7:1.
      2. His message called Judah to amend her ways so that God would allow her people to dwell safely in the area rather than trusting in their false hope that the temple itself would protect them, Jeremiah 7:2-4:
        1. Jeremiah's message was a call for Judah to amend her ways and not to trust in lying words, 7:2-4a.
        2. The lying words to which Jeremiah referred are cited in Jeremiah 1:4b ESV as follows: "This is the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord"!
        3. This phrase exalted God's TEMPLE as though IT was a haven that would protect the people.
      3. This belief was a false hope, one that had arisen from a misuse of Judah's rich spiritual heritage:
        1. In his footnote to Jeremiah 7:4 in the Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, Dr. Ryrie notes "the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem from Sennacherib's army almost a century before . . . made Judah believe that Jerusalem, because it was the site of the temple, was invincible," (brackets ours).
        2. In that deliverance, good king Hezekiah had gone into the TEMPLE to beg God's help against the threats of Assyria's Sennacherib, cf. 2 Kings 19:14-19; God heard his prayer and miraculously slew Sennacherib's Assyrian soldiers to provide a great deliverance for Judah, 2 Kings 19:34-37.
        3. Now, in claiming He would deliver Jerusalem, God had told Hezekiah He would defend the city to save it for His own sake and for the sake of His servant, David, Judah's great past king, 2 K. 19:34.
        4. Yet, the people had interpreted those words of God to mean God would not allow invading armies harm His temple as though the temple building and its city themselves were so innately valuable to God that He would keep these objects from harm. Judah thus made an idol out of their heritage!
    2. Accordingly, God called Judah to amend her ways as the basis of her being able to continue there in STARK CONTRAST to Judah's HERITAGE having anything to do with her present safety, 7:5-8:3:
      1. God repeated the condition for Judah to repent to continue safely in her present location, Jer. 7:5-7.
      2. However, Judah's trust in her heritage while she continued to perform oppressive acts would only bring God's judgment in the form of invading armies to their area, a fact Jeremiah repeated in Jer. 7:8-11.
      3. Indeed, speaking of their heritage and history, God reminded Judah that, due to Israel's past sins, (a) the presence of God's tabernacle at Shiloh in the days of the judges had not kept Shiloh from falling to the Philistines due to Israel's sins (7:12-14); (b) more recently, God had judged the Northern Kingdom to fall to Assyria, so He was just as willing to let invaders destroy Judah for her sin, 7:15.
      4. Since Judah would still did not repent, God predicted judgment via invaders for Judah, Jer. 7:16-31. God promised to make the area a place for dead bodies, Jer. 7:32-34; even the bones of Judah's past idolatrous kings would be unearthed and shamefully spread before the stars they had worshiped in order to demoralize those who survived the Babylonian invasion and who had failed to repent, 8:1-2, 3.
Lesson: Judah errantly switched from trusting and heeding GOD to trusting the HERITAGE of what BLESSINGS God had PROVIDED her due to the nation's PAST spiritual triumphs; accordingly, she failed to repent and take GOD seriously to her own eventual destruction by Babylonian invaders.

Application: May we view GOD and NOT our HERITAGE as GOD so that we trust in HIM ALONE!