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Week 59

October 15th, 2017
Rebels without a Cause
Jeremiah 2:23–3:5
You say, “That’s not true! I haven’t worshiped the images of Baal!” But how can you say that? Go and look in any valley in the land! Face the awful sins you have done. You are like a restless female camel desperately searching for a mate. You are like a wild donkey, sniffing the wind at mating time. Who can restrain her lust? Those who desire her don’t need to search, for she goes running to them!

When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, “Save your breath. I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!”

Israel is like a thief who feels shame only when he gets caught. They, their kings, officials, priests, and prophets—all are alike in this. To an image carved from a piece of wood they say, “You are my father.” To an idol chiseled from a block of stone they say, “You are my mother.” They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, “Come and save us!” …

O my people, listen to the words of the LORD! Have I been like a desert to Israel? Have I been to them a land of darkness? Why then do my people say, “At last we are free from God! We don’t need him anymore!” Does a young woman forget her jewelry? Does a bride hide her wedding dress? Yet for years on end my people have forgotten me. (Jeremiah 2:23-27, 31-32)
In Jeremiah 2:1–3:5, the marriage analogy sharply contrasts God’s love for his people with their love for other gods and reveals Judah’s faithlessness. Jeremiah condemned Judah (he sometimes called Judah “Jerusalem,” the name of its capital city) for seeking security in worthless, changeable things rather than in the unchangeable God.

The people of Judah are compared to animals that search for mates in mating season. Unrestrained, they rush for power, money, alliances with foreign powers, and other gods. The idols did not seek the people; the people sought the idols and then ran wildly after them. Then they became so comfortable in their sin that they could not think of giving it up. Their only shame was in getting caught.
The more we focus on the pleasures of the world, the easier it becomes to forget God’s care, his love, his dependability, his guidance, and most of all, God himself. What pleases you most? Have you been forgetting God lately? Ask him for help to make him your highest priority.
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