Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 31, Jeremiah 6, Matthew 17
“Behold the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it. Therefore …“[Jeremiah 6 v.10] – we will come to the “therefore” in a minute, but the above words jumped out at us in today’s reading in Jeremiah. This is so like the attitude of so many today. Part of the reason for this attitude toward God is the publicity given to the moral failures of those, such as the Catholic Priests, who claim to be serving God.
What happened in ancient times will happen today. Jeremiah complains, “they do not defend the rights of the needy … the cause of the fatherless” [5 v.28]. In Australia we are blessed that there are efforts to look after the needy. We read last week of Jesus making the complaint, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” [Matt. 7 v.15].
Such hypocrisy only adds to the way most people view the word of God today – unless they read it themselves and realize how relevant it is to today and has a message for those who really want to think about the meaning of life – as God sees it!
We notice another point Jeremiah makes. “Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore …” [6 v.15]
We can apply this today more widely. Practices which would have made people blush 70 years ago, are brazenly practiced these days. It is very difficult for those who are trying hard to walk in righteous ways, according to the word of God, to remain unaffected, at least a little, by all that surrounds them! This makes it even more important to meditate on God’s word every day.
We now come to the “therefore” in the text! If you check the passages that end with “therefore” , you will find God is saying again and again – therefore I will act!
Note Ch. 6 v.11, “Therefore,” says Jeremiah, “I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in. ‘Pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon the gatherings of young men; both husband and wife shall be taken, the elderly … for I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, declares the LORD.”
As we read on in Jeremiah we will see how God gives him a message against all the people of the world – people to whom “The word” of God has become “an object of scorn.” It becomes worse for Jeremiah! He sees and cries, “Violence and destruction! For the word of the LORD has become for me a reproach and derision all day long.’ [Ch. 20 v.8] …” That is happening to an increasing extent today.