[CF Devotionals] 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 it’s a call to return to the basics, a call to renew our commitment to the essentials, a call to revival in topsy-turvy times.

The 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 I’m reading from the NIV so the wording may be slightly different but that particular translation helped me grasp this particular passage.

Jeremiah 5:1-31 (NIV)

  1. "Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city.

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. We’re 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.

  1. Although they say, 'As surely as the LORD lives,' still they are swearing falsely."
  2. O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain; you crushed them, but they refused correction. They made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent.
  3. I thought, "These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the LORD , the requirements of their God.

These people were what we might call grassroots people, humble people, common people, and the average Joe's. None of them are righteous.

  1. So I will go to the leaders and speak to them; surely they know the way of the LORD, the requirements of their God." But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke and torn off the bonds.

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?

  1. Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will ravage them, a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces any who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.

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?"

  1. "Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
  2. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for another man's wife.
  3. Should I not punish them for this?" declares the LORD. "Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?
  4. "Go through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not destroy them completely. Strip off her branches, for these people do not belong to the LORD.
  5. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me," declares the LORD.

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.