The Temple of the Lord
I was in Sunday School a few weeks back and we were studying Jeremiah 7. All during the class, something seemed “off”. It is usually a great class, but this particular time, the focus did not seem to be on the passage.
Why is Jeremiah harping about “The Temple of the Lord”, when it is obvious that the Jewish worshipers are attending faithfully?
How is “The Temple of the Lord”, referred to in Jeremiah 7, applicable to the modern day Christian?
What did Jeremiah say? First off, let’s read the passage.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD:
2 “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD.
3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place.
4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’
5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another,
6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm,
7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.
8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail.
9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known,
10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’–only to go on doing all these abominations?
11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD.
12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel.
13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer,
14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh.
15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.
What is it that Jeremiah wants from these worshipers?
AMEND YOUR WAYS
- amend your ways and your deeds
- if you truly amend your ways and your deeds
- if you truly execute justice one with another
- if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place,
- if you do not go after other gods to your own harm
Only if the nation of Israel amends their ways, will they be able to remain in the land. (see vs 7)
But Carl – The Temple of the Lord – that is the security, the promise, the TEMPLE. How could anything go wrong since the nation of Israel had the blessing and privilege granted to them to have the TEMPLE OF THE LORD.
Verse 8 speaks of deceptive words again, that the nation was trusting in. These words are…
THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD
Wait, the blessing and privilege of having the temple of the Lord in the nation of Israel is becoming a stumbling block to the nation of Israel. At the very least it was a massive distraction. You see, the Lord is not so concerned about edifices, buildings, construction, brick and mortar….
My wife’s favorite verse goes something like this
1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
Although Samuel was referring to the stature and appearance of David’s first son, the principle applies here. As idolatrous humans, we seek to honor and worship that which we can see, feel and own.
The Temple fell into that category. And the Temple was to be abandoned, just like the Father abandoned Shiloh. He did it once before. His word is faithful, and looking back upon Jeremiahs time, it is easy for us to see the fulfillment his prophecy. The Babylonians swept in, and the nation was taken away to Babylon for 70 yrs.
Another prophet (and so much more) came on the scene, and recognized the nation of Israel’s spiritual condition. He spoke of abandoning the Temple.
They crucified Him.
The temple was sacked 40 yrs later. Think of it. The mercy of the Crucified One to allow for 40 years to pass, seeking repentance, prior to bringing final judgement on the nation.
I have more to say, but I would like to finish this post simply considering the mercy and kindness of the One who died for me.
He is good.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.