2010-12-10 - The Question and Answer for Our Times
Part 1 ~ Originally Preached 2004-07-14
Before we begin, take a minute to read the lyrics or listen to "The Basics of Life" by 4Him. You should be able to find it easily using any online search engine . I wanted to start with that song because its a call to return to the basics, a call to renew our commitment to the essentials, a call to revival in topsy-turvy times.
Look with me at Jeremiah 5 where we'll find Jeremiah in the midst of topsy-turvy times himself. Jeremiah, the prophet - not the bullfrog, wrote these words to Israel. According to the timeline in my Bible, he delivered this prophecy or message about 612 BC but his prophetic message wasn't just for them. I think a lot of times we only think of prophets as future predictors that don't have much relevance afterwards but that's only part of it.
But prophets aren't just predictors they're spokesman. According to Merriam-Webster the word prophet comes from Middle English prophete, which comes from Old French, which comes from the Latin word propheta, which traces back to the Greek prophetes, which in turn comes from two root words, pro meaning for and phanai meaning to speak. So a prophet is simply one who is "to speak for".
Throughout the Old and New Testament it is used to mean someone who delivers God's message. A prophet is a man or woman who preaches and teaches the word of God, delivering and clarifying His message. And God's messages are relevant to all of us. If it weren't relevant to other generations the Jews and early Christians wouldn't have preserved it in the canons of scripture.
So let's read and as we read I want to share some thoughts with you. Now Im reading from the NIV so the wording may be slightly different but that particular translation helped me grasp this particular passage.
Go up and down the streets of Sharpsburg go up and down the streets of the city you live in and find one totally honest person seeking the truth. I bet you can't do it. Were a society that thinks nothing of taking extra time at work on break, using office supplies, downloading music and software illegally, cheating on taxes, speeding to work. It's all dishonesty no matter how we may excuse it. No matter the reason it's still dishonesty.
These people were what we might call grassroots people, humble people, common people, and the average Joe's. None of them are righteous.
Leaders should at least be a bit better but that wasn't the case. The leaders are as bad. As Christians we ought to be leaders leading the world to the light and love of Jesus but sins like theft, divorce, and adultery are as high in Christians as non-Christians. What the heck is going on? Are we leading or are we following?
God allowed sneaky predators to come to get our attention. When I read that I wondered, "Is that much different from terrorists? Aren't they sneaky predators?"
The house of America has been utterly unfaithful to the Lord. The American dream is to make money and climb above everyone else. Is that a servant's heart? I don't think so.
We will continue to look at this passage next time. Until then
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.