Seriously, Sin?

jeremiahEarlier this week, we began to look at the book of Jeremiah.  You can find the first post here.  Today, we turn our attention to chapters 6-10. Once Jeremiah is called by God to be a prophet, he quickly turns to the message.  “Jerusalem, you are sinners.  You’ve turned from a faithful God to your own desires.  Therefore, God is going to punish.”  That’s a paraphrase of the first few chapters, but it’s fair.  Read it, if you haven’t already done so.

As I was reading the next five chapters, I was thinking about sin.  Do I take my sin serious enough?  Do I realize the consequences?  Do I know that one day there will be a reckoning?  Those questions can’t be answered quickly.  It’s sin that got Jesus murdered – mine, yours, and everyone else’s.

If you’ve read these particular chapters, Jeremiah is clear about sin.  Here’s a few verses I’ve highlighted.

Behold, their ears are uncircumcised, they cannot listen; behold the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.  6:10b

But they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and the stubbornness of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.  7:24

Death shall be preferred to life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family in all the places where I have driven them, declares the LORD of hosts.  8:3

Were they ashamed when they committed an abomination?  No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.  Therefore they shall fall among the fallen; when I punish them, they shall be overthrown, says the LORD.  8:12

Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.  9:5

…with his mouth each speaks peace to his neighbor, but in his heart he plans an ambush for him.  9:8b

Do you hear a pattern?  It sounds as if Jeremiah recognized the seriousness of sin.  He is clear about the consequences and the judgment that will follow.  I realize I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.  But do we allow the knowledge to become wisdom?  Do we act upon what we know?  Do we live changed lives based upon information?

The Israelites knew all of the above, yet they continued down the same path.  What makes you and I any different?  You see, we like grace.  We like the God who gives and allows us freedom, etc.  On the other hand, we’re not too fond of a God who punishes, provides judgment, or convicts us of something that needs to change.  We like a God who is holy – as long as He keeps it to Himself.

One more text from these chapters:

Thus says the LORD:  Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.  For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.  9:23-24

If the Israelites couldn’t have it both ways, what makes us think we can?  Why are we constantly dismissing our sin with every excuse under the sun?  “After all, don’t judge me.  I’m not perfect and neither are you.”  Do you hear the stupidity in that statement?  God has provided the standard.  Any attempt to change it goes much too far.  Sure, we should be grateful for grace.  But grace came with a price – a price that none except Christ was able to pay.  I’m thankful He did.  Let’s take our sin serious, huh?

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2 Responses to “Seriously, Sin?”

  1. Amen! Well said. Love the book of Jeremiah, even if it is on the heavy side. We need it.

  2. Thank you sir. Merry Christmas!

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