King Josiah’s reformation failed because the people’s repentance was shallow. They continued in their selfishness and worship of idols. All the leaders rejected God’s law and will for the people. Jeremiah lists all their sins, predicts God’s judgment, and begs for repentance.
Judah’s deterioration and disaster came from a callous disregard and disobedience of God. When we ignore sin and refuse to listen to God’s warning, we invite disaster. Don’t settle for half measures in removing sin.
Because of sin, Jerusalem was destroyed, the Temple was ruined, and the people were captured and carried off to Babylon. The people were responsible for their destruction and captivity because they refused to listen to God’s message.
Unconfessed sin brings God’s full punishment. It is useless to blame anyone else for our sin; we are accountable to God before anyone else. We must answer to him for how we live.
GOD IS LORD OF ALL
God is the righteous Creator. He is accountable to no one but himself. He wisely and lovingly directs all creation to fulfill his plans, and he brings events to pass according to his timetable. He is Lord over all the world.
Because of God’s majestic power and love, our only duty is to submit to his authority. By following his plans, not our own, we can have a loving relationship with him and serve him with our whole heart.
Jeremiah predicted that after the destruction of the nation, God would send a new shepherd, the Messiah. He would lead them into a new future, a new covenant, and a new day of hope. He would accomplish this by changing their sinful hearts into hearts of love for God.
God still transforms people by changing their hearts. His love can eliminate the problems created by sin. We can have assurance of a new heart by loving God, trusting Christ to save us, and repenting of our sin.
Jeremiah served God faithfully for 40 years. During that time the people ignored, rejected, and persecuted him. Jeremiah’s preaching was unsuccessful by human standards, yet he did not fail in his task. He remained faithful to God.
People’s acceptance or rejection of us is not the measure of our success. God’s approval alone should be our standard for service. We must bring God’s message to others even when we are rejected. We must do God’s work even if it means suffering for it.