It has been a while since I have thought about Jeremiah.
Some of you remember the bullfrog, Jeremiah. There is a famous song that begins by talking about him (Jeremiah was a bull-frog...), suggesting he was a good friend. And even though you couldn’t understand a single word he said, the song suggests that he somehow brought joy to the world.
The Jeremiah that we are reading about in the Old Testament (as a part of our Southwest 2020 Bible Project that you can join in on by clicking www.southwest.org), was not a joy bringer.
While the people of God would have preferred the bullfrog, no doubt, this Jeremiah was a prophet. His ministry lasted 50 years, and his messages were directed at the southern nation of Judah. The northern nation of Israel had already been defeated and drug off into captivity by the Assyrians, and sadly, Judah was moving headlong into a similar fate at the hands of the Babylonians. Unless...
Unless they heard the urgency of Jeremiah's preaching and changed. While there was a sliver of hope that Judah could change, the book reflects that it is highly unlikely that they would. In fact, as we keep reading, Jeremiah's messages will stop even adding the "unless you repent" portions of his warnings, and will just proclaim the unstoppable nature of the impending doom.
What was Judah doing that was so offensive to God? What was their sin that they would not turn from that demanded this extreme discipline? Good question.
In fact, one of the ways in which this ancient book to this ancient people can still serve us today in our becoming wise will come by asking that question.
So today, we will look at some of the sin that was being committed by the people of God back then, so that we can learn from them, hopefully grow wise, and not commit the same sin as the people of God today.
Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet”. We find him weeping on behalf of his people because of the judgement coming, and he weeps on behalf of his God because of how the people’s sin breaks God's heart.
Today we will examine one of the sins that Judah committed that broke God’s heart, and that Jesus himself mentioned in a condemning way over 20 times.
Today we examine hypocrisy. My prayer is that by examining it, we might escape it. And escape breaking God's heart.