Bible Pathway - Aug. 15, 2016

Read >Jeremiah 4 – 6

Highlights:

God clearly warns Judah of impending destruction unless hearts and minds are cleansed (4:3). The prophet weeps (4:19-22) over visions of coming disaster (4:23-31). One honest man will save the city (5:1); but none is found. Why (5:19-25)? A last warning (6:1-9); Israel's constant rebellion and rejection brings doom (6:10-30).

They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge (Jer. 5:28).

During the time of his ministry, Jeremiah was surrounded by people who looked fine on the outside, yet on the inside their hearts were on a downhill slide to wickedness. We see this so much in our world today, even in the church.

Outward appearance is highly valued in today's society. When a stranger comes into our church wearing a three piece suit or an expensive dress, we welcome them with open arms. We will seat them in a place of respect where they will be noticed.

On the other hand, if a person walks in off the streets in shabby clothes they are treated quite differently. What happens if a person of a different race or nationality comes to the church? How many people will move to welcome them or place them in a position of honor?

This is not going to hold true in all places of worship, but we will find this elitist attitude more often than not. This is disturbing, especially since it should never be found in the Lord's house. Many have turned God's house into a social club. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves (Mark 11:17).

God gave Jeremiah this message to deliver in order to point out their awful state and to offer them a chance to repent and return to Him. The leaders and priests were proclaiming and preaching lies, and the unfortunate fact was that the people saw nothing wrong with this type of behavior; they actually condoned it. They were giving great support to the ungodly attitudes and practices of these men. This happens often in life when people of like thoughts, either right or wrong, are drawn together.

When this type of prejudicial behavior is exhibited, it is the less fortunate, such as widows and orphans, who live their lives in misery. No one seems to care one way or the other. They are either ignored or else they are exploited in some way to benefit the upper class. The Lord however, commands different actions than these towards the less fortunate in life. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (James 1:27).

We would do well to remember that one day God will right all the wrongs in the world. We should never be deceived into thinking He is not aware of all that goes on. Although at times the world may seem as if it is ruled by the devil and by those that are evil, it only looks that way. We as believers need to be advocates of justice. We need to show the world that we know God is the ultimate judge.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (Galatians 6:7-8).

Thought for Today:

God's fury will burn like fire as He judges unrepentant sinners.

Christ Revealed:

By Jeremiah, whom God commissioned to reveal His Truth (Jer. 4:2). Jesus shall one day judge all mankind with His Truth (Ps. 96:13; John 5:22). Jesus said: To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the Truth. Every one that is of the Truth heareth My voice (John 18:37).

Word Studies:

4:6 retire, stay not, go in haste to take refuge, don't delay; 4:22 sottish, devoid of spiritual understanding; 5:10 battlements, branches; 5:13 wind, full of words, but speaking nothing from God; 5:30 wonderful, monstrous, shocking; 6:30 reprobate silver, rejected, despised, trash.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Maxine Waters (CA), Rep. Judy Biggert (IL), Rep. Tom Marino (PA), Jusitce Stephen G. Breyer (US Supreme Court) • Country: Russia (146.5 million) northeastern Europe and northern Asia • Major language: Russian • Religious freedom • 55% Russian Orthodox; 9% Muslim; 1% Protestant (Baptist, Pentecostal); .8% Shamanist/Animist; .6% Buddhist; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% New Religions (e.g.,) • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Ps. 55:16).

Optional Reading: I Peter 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 90:1-2

  • Editors' Picks

    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
    Why the Church Must Start Talking about Domestic Violence
  • Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
    Don't Think of Church as Your Own Spiritual Power Bar
  • So You Think Theology Is Impractical?
    So You Think Theology Is Impractical?