Yesterday I left off in verse 21 of the second chapter of Jeremiah, and I'll pick up at verse 22 today and go through 28. The previous verses told how the Israelites had gone astray from the Lord, and we saw how he asked them, "What fault did you find in me that you strayed so far"?
Today's verses say: "Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me", declares the Sovereign Lord. How can you say, 'I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals'? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving - in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said,"It's no use! I love foreign gods and I must go after them". As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the house of Israel is disgraced - they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets. They say to wood, "You are my father, andto stone, You gave me birth". They ahve turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble they say, "Come and save us"! Where are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble. For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah".
Let's disect this to where you can see its relevance to our lives today.
Compare verse 22 - "Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me".
Compare that to Psalm 51: 1 - 4, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love, according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge".
The difference there is in the Psalm, David had sinned by his adultery with Bathsheba, and was repentant of it. He acknowledged his sin and was asking God to cleanse him. In the verse from Jeremiah, Israel is unrepentant - they are trying to cleanse and redeem themselves, which is futile.
I see more of the unrepentant attitude like Israelites in Judah, in our country than a repentant heart as David had when he realized his sin. We have become a nation that has become so easy to embrace the ideology of being "politcally correct", that we have allowed things that once were seen as sin, to become normal and acceptable. We have been bombarded by Hollywood in just about every tv show and every movie, to include adultery, homosexuality, crude language, and rebellious children. It has jaded so many, that they think it's ok, and that its just how things are, and they accept it. God says those things are sin! We don't teach children that it's SIN to have sex outside of marriage - we hand out condoms in the schools, and in their "health" classes, they are taught now that there are other kinds of parents than just mommy and daddy, and that if they are going to have sex, use protection. Oh and if they get "caught up in the moment" and don't use protection, it's ok - you can drive down to the local slaughter house and get rid of that baby, and they don't even have to notify your parents that you're there! We are a nation of unwed mothers with deadbeat fathers - we are a nation of women who think that "choosing" to have an abortion is a right that they should have, and have no consideration of the rights of that unborn child. We have the sin in our country of greed and idolatry of material things, and look where that's gotten us now - we have a free market that has now collapsed.
Does anyone think God doesn't see these things? Does anyone think he isn't going to judge our nation for these sins? Does anyone think that the appalling doctrines of "follow your own path to your own God", as Oprah Winfrey preaches; "gay couples should have the right to marry", that even some of the churches accept and support, and the doctrines preached by the political left wing liberals are going to go unnoticed and unanswered by God?
The answer to that is found in verses 27b - 28: "They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, 'Come and save us'! Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble. For you have as many gods as you have towns".
I'm not here to pacify those who see my stance on these issues as radical and passe. The Lord says in the book of Revelation, "I know your words and your deeds, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm, I am about to spit you out of my mouth"! I do NOT want to be considered a "lukewarm" Christian - I am here to show what God's word has to say to each one of us about sin, our need to realize that we are sinners, our need to have a Savior. Unlike the theologies of Oprah and many like her - there is only ONE path to God, and that is through His ONLY son - Jesus. He said, "I am THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life - no one comes to the Father, but through ME".