Have you ever thought you could rebel against God without consequences? Think again!
Lord, help me to allow Your light to search my heart. As I read Your Word, may I hear Your message to me.
Does the church ever presume on God's blessings like this?
The people thought that God would always protect Jerusalem because the Temple was his house and because of his promises made to King David. But Jeremiah says, "No!" Only if they change their ways and their actions and treat one another justly (5) will God continue to protect them from their enemies. Otherwise he will allow the Temple to be destroyed, as happened to the shrine at Shiloh where Eli ministered long ago (12-15).
Can the people break the Ten Commandments (many of which are mentioned in v. 9) and worship idols and expect God to do nothing? The Temple bears God's name (11), and conduct there is meant to reflect his character and be in line with his revealed will. But the people are worshiping "the Queen of Heaven" (18), Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility, and oppressing the poor. So Israel's God forbids Jeremiah to pray for them anymore (16)--their doom is inevitable. Scary stuff--doing well in the past will not protect us in the present if we deliberately rebel against God!
Consider verse 19. Are there areas of your life in which you are bringing harm to yourself through your choices?
Father, thank You that You have done all to make a way for our peace. Help me to walk so as to realize it in my life.