“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; so what wisdom do they have?”
We have seen throughout this story that anytime the people choose to ignore the word of God and walk in their own ways, things never go well. Although the Lord has sent prophet after prophet to warn the people to turn from walking in their own ways to obeying the word of the Lord and walking in His ways, the people do not listen. They believe that they are wise and that they can navigate life apart from the Lord. However, there is no wisdom to be found apart from God’s word.
Jeremiah grieves over the sinful state of Judah – “For the hurt of the daughter of my people I am hurt. I am mourning; astonishment has taken hold of me.” As Charles Spurgeon said, “A preacher whom God sends will often feel more care for the souls of men than men feel for themselves or their own salvation.” Because someone who is walking with the Lord and knows His word knows the ultimate outcome for those who choose to ignore Him.
The Lord speaks of the outcome for rebellious Judah – “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them… Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”
The Lord instructs the people not to glory in the things of the world that will perish and fade away when calamity comes upon them, but to glory in Him and His long suffering, just, and righteous nature – “‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.”
Jeremiah reminds Judah that, “The Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.” The Lord, the God of creation, will destroy all other gods who did not make heaven and the earth. And since Judah has broken their covenant with the Lord and has turned to worship these false gods made by the hands of men, nothing will save them at this point, not even Jeremiah’s prayers.
The reading ends with Jeremiah’s enemies plotting to kill him for speaking the words of the Lord, but God assures Jeremiah that He will punish those who intend him harm. And in spite of threats against his life, Jeremiah will stay faithful to proclaiming the word of the Lord. Therefore, we will hear more from Jeremiah tomorrow. Keep reading. (Jeremiah 8:4-11:23)