God’s Word of Spiritual Renewal
Jeremiah 7:1-15: In today’s reading, Jeremiah preaches in the Temple and warns the people that the Temple will be destroyed, just like the sanctuary in Shiloh, if the people continue to worship false gods.
“Change the way you are living and stop doing the things you are doing. Be fair in your treatment of one another.”
Jeremiah Preaches in the Temple
1-3The Lord sent me to the gate of the Temple where the people of Judah went in to worship. He told me to stand there and announce what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, had to say to them: “Change the way you are living and the things you are doing, and I will let you go on living here. 4Stop believing those deceitful words, ‘We are safe! This is the Lord's Temple, this is the Lord's Temple, this is the Lord's Temple!’
5“Change the way you are living and stop doing the things you are doing. Be fair in your treatment of one another. 6Stop taking advantage of aliens, orphans, and widows. Stop killing innocent people in this land. Stop worshiping other gods, for that will destroy you. 7If you change, I will let you go on living here in the land which I gave your ancestors as a permanent possession.
8“Look, you put your trust in deceitful words. 9You steal, murder, commit adultery, tell lies under oath, offer sacrifices to Baal, and worship gods that you had not known before. 10You do these things I hate, and then you come and stand in my presence, in my own Temple, and say, ‘We are safe!’ 11 Do you think that my Temple is a hiding place for robbers? I have seen what you are doing. 12 Go to Shiloh, the first place where I chose to be worshiped, and see what I did to it because of the sins of my people Israel. 13You have committed all these sins, and even though I spoke to you over and over again, you refused to listen. You would not answer when I called you. 14And so, what I did to Shiloh I will do to this Temple of mine, in which you trust. Here in this place that I gave to your ancestors and you, I will do the same thing that I did to Shiloh. 15I will drive you out of my sight as I drove out your relatives, the people of Israel. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Before Jerusalem became the center for worshiping God and before the Temple was built, the people worshiped God at Shiloh in the territory of Ephraim. Jeremiah cites the destruction of Shiloh (destroyed by the Philistines in 1050 B.C. and never rebuilt) as a warning that God will destroy the Temple in Jerusalem. In what ways were the people being unfaithful to God? How were they treating one another? What did God promise if the people changed their behavior? Are there any behavior patterns that you need to change?
Holy God, draw me close to you and keep me from being led astray. I turn to you with a humble and repentant heart and place my trust in you alone. May all I do and say be in obedience to your will. Amen.
Those struggling to overcome harmful behavior patterns
1 Corinthians 12:1-11: The apostle Paul teaches about spiritual gifts.