The book of Jeremiah is sobering. It’s not one that we hear a lot of sermons from, and I haven’t met too many people who claim it to be their favorite book in the Bible. Since we know all of God’s Word is “profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17), it is to our detriment to neglect any part of God’s Word.
For those who think the Bible has nothing to say to our modern culture, try taking a spin through the first couple of chapters of this book. First, a small disclaimer. God directed the words of this prophet to the nation of Israel. He did not write them to the United States or any other modern country. However, God’s principles and consequences are timeless and applicable to all people at all times. We would do well to heed the warnings of God in the book of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 2:13 reads, “For My people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned Me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.” Look around the world today. There is no doubt people have abandoned God. A recent poll I saw reveals only 63% of people are “absolutely certain” there is a God. What the poll did not reveal is who people think God is. I think it’s safe to say only about half of all people believe in the God of the Bible. That may be a generous estimate. America was founded on Biblical principles and truth. God was central to everyday life, but no longer.
The churches are mostly silent. Society has eliminated God from our culture, and doing whatever feels good is the rule of the day (Judges 21:25). That is the second evil Jeremiah references in the verse above. Not only have we abandoned God, we now believe we find our hope and future in man’s wisdom and understanding. The Bible is no longer the standard of what is right and how to live. Morality is now defined by the narrative of the day. But the wisdom of man is flawed, cracked, and full of holes. It lacks not only logical consistency, but also any divine authority. Any trust in the ways of this world will only lead to death (Proverbs 14:12).
We can trace all the evil in this world to our having abandoned God. In Jeremiah 2:17, he continues, “Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when He led you in the way?” What we see today are the results of abandoning God and embracing this world. When we defile ourselves with the idols of the land, God no longer holds back the consequences of our sins. We choose to go our own way, and He gives us over to the effects of that decision. We have abandoned God and placed our faith in the things of this world. The results of those decisions are on display all around us. May God help us all. We must repent, every one of us, cry out to the Lord for mercy, and trust in Him to deliver us from evil.