By Riley Nelson Minister Richmond Hill Church of Christ
Paul wrote, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). There is much to be learned by the mistakes of others. Seeing what others have done and the consequences of their actions ought to lead us to want to be as faithful as possible to God.
The people to whom Jeremiah the prophet preached refused to listen to God’s word, (cf. Chapter six). They had determined not to listen to the prophets words. Their lives were full of sin and they enjoyed wallowing in its mire. Notice God speaks to their not blushing. Things for which they should have been ashamed, they felt no remorse. The punishment of God was going to come upon them, and they had no fear.
God’s word is given so that man can know the direction God desire’s him to follow. Jeremiah wrote, “O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). Thankfully we do not have to “direct our steps” God’s word is for us to use as our guide. This word is a “lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway” (Psalm 119:105). It is said they did not “delight” in the word. Man’s reaction to God’s word should be joy. We do not have to find the way by ourselves, God has provided the map.
Those to whom Jeremiah spoke were a people willing to listen to false teachers. While Jeremiah was telling them what God thought about them, and what would happen if they did not repent, the false teachers were “tickling” their ears with words of peace and good times. They should have listened to God’s prophet, but they failed to do so. This same thing happens today.
When this people committed abomination, they were not the least bit ashamed of their sins. They had lived a sinful life for so long they could not even blush. Their sins are talked about throughout the book of Jeremiah. They were guilty of adultery, idolatry, murder, drunkenness, etc. They lived in open rebellion against God, and felt no remorse. Many of these things are practiced openly in our society, and the world is not ashamed.
The prophet gave them the cure for all of their sins, but they rejected the cure. The cure for them was to turn back to God and His word. The cure today for all is to turn back to God and His word. We must go back to it and follow it. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ” (Gal. 1:6, 7). While many today would try and pervert the gospel, we must seek out the truth of God’s word and walk in the “old paths”. Will we learn from the past? Let us pray that we will.
Study the Bible and obey its commands. Come to God on His terms, let your faith develop through your study, (Rom. 10:17); believe in Jesus that He is God’s Son, (John 8:24); repent of your sins, (Luke 13:3); then confess that Jesus is the Son of God, (Rom. 10:10); be baptized for the remission of your sin, (Acts 2:38); and live for God every day, (Rev. 2:10). Learn from the mistakes of those in Jeremiah’s day, and follow God.