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Jeremiah

One fact is abundantly clear throughout The Bible:  The LORD is Holy, perfect, unchanging, and fully in control of history.

Another fact is abundantly clear:  The LORD loves Israel, is utterly faithful to her and comes to her aid repeatedly, but sooner or later He punishes her severely for her continuing sins and apostasy.  The fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BC and to the Romans in 70 AD immediately come to mind.  But because of His unconditional covenants The LORD always leaves a faithful remnant of Israel to start over.

Now if The LORD is willing to discipline his chosen, beloved nation by driving them to destruction, how much more likely is He to drive a sinful Gentile nation to destruction?  The fall of Assyria and Babylon at the command of the Lord are examples of great empires felled by the word of the Lord.  How many Perrizites, Moabites, Hittites, and so on remain today?  Not many.  They, too, were destroyed by the wrath of The Lord.  He left no Gentile remnant as He did for the Israelites because He had made no protective covenant with the Gentiles.

Which brings us to America:  The LORD has blessed America greatly and American history parallels that of the Jews in many respects.  But America is a Gentile nation without a protective covenant.  Therefore if America as a nation sins against The LORD, one can expect America to experience the destructive wrath of The Lord as did other Gentile empires and nations.  The Lord is impartial.

In the book of Jeremiah The Lord carefully lays out a legal argument against the Israelites to justify the impending destruction of Jerusalem which occurred 60 years from the start of Jeremiah’s ministry.  The parallel to America’s current state is sobering, especially given the lack of a protective covenant.  Americans would be well advised to heed these words as a warning in light of current trends:

And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.  The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. (Jer 2:7-8)

…  for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.  (Jer 2:13)

Translation:  I did great things for you, but you stopped following my guidance, began to worship other gods (atheism, New Age, Islam, etc.), and strayed from my moral precepts to follow evil ways.

Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.  (Jer 2:22)

Translation:  You can’t pretend and hide behind religious ritual.  The LORD sees the true heart.

How can you say, ‘I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals’? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done– a restless young camel running here and there, a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. (Jer 2:23-24)

 … You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD.  Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom. (Jer 3:1-2)

Translation:  You think you’re faithful but you eagerly pounce on the next new philosophy, religion, or worldview you encounter and continue to ignore my true word.  (Note the passion in The LORD’s words.  He is upset!)

“As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!’ (Jer 2:26-27)

Translation:  All your leaders are following false gods, but your churches are full for a couple of weeks when I strike you with a disaster to get your attention.  You hypocrites!  You all will be shamed.

But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah.  “Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD.  (Jer 2:28-29)

Translation:  I’ve had enough of this.  Why are you arguing with me?  You’re on your own.  Let your gods help you.

“If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver, and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’ in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.” (Jer 4:1-2)

Translation:  I’m giving you one last chance.  Repent, turn from your evil ways and I will forgive.  (This may not apply to America, however, because The LORD has no covenant with America.  It’s foolish to test the Lord!)

Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.  (Jer 5:1)

Translation:  You can’t find one righteous person in all the land no matter how hard you look.  Not one.  If you could I would have mercy.  Therefore the nation is destined for judgment. (This is a repeat of Abraham’s unsuccessful negotiation with The LORD regarding the fate of Sodom; The LORD never changes.)

“How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores.  They were well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife.  Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD; and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?  (Jer 5:7-9)

Translation:  You expect me to look the other way?  It would be wrong not to punish a nation for such sins.  Again note the passion and anger.  He is ready to act!

They have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.  (Jer 5:12)

Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: “Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.  (Jer 5:14)

Translation:  Not only that, but my holy name has been dishonored by false words of teaching; therefore my words will consume these people.

“But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you.   (Jer 5:18)

Translation:  Even in my wrath I will protect a remnant of Israel because of my covenants.  But America has no covenant…

And when your people say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.'”  (Jer 5:19)

Translation:  Let the punishment fit the sin (crime); this demonstrates the Lord’s justice and righteousness.

Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not.  Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me?  (Jer 5:21-22)

Translation:  Oh, you foolish people!  Do you have a clue?  Sigh…

May the LORD have mercy and patience with America!
All is not as it looks.

(815)

NOTE:  Biblical text is ESV translation.

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