God sends Prophet Jeremiah around 588 BC to preach 13 sermons of judgment.
God was showing them the reasons for His divine judgment.
Today’s passage contains the 1st sermon Prophet Jeremiah preached.
I. JEREMIAH REMINDS THEIR FORMER COVENANT RELATIONSHIP (1-3)
Jeremiah time travels to Exodus days and recalls how God brought them out of bondage.
He takes two examples of young married couple and first fruits of a tree –both are precious.
Israel showed love and devotion to God during their Exodus journey and Promised Land.
In response God treasured them as holy.
Any nation that tried to take them over incurred God’s anger and punishment.
Everyone who accepted the Lord Jesus is so precious and dear to God.
In the initial days the new believer is full of joy, zeal for the Lord, devotion and desire.
Church attendance was important, giving time and treasure was natural.
Every believer felt special as forgiven, cleansed, saved and had joy in the heart.
II. ISRAEL BROKE THEIR COVENANT RELATIONSHIP (4-8)
A. They worshiped things
As the time passed people of Israel lost their devotion and desire for the Lord.
It was like a slow drift – losing interest and excitement – procrastinating things of the Lord.
“They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.”
Dangerously they started worshiping other idols or things than the Holy God.
In the process they became worthless and useless for the Lord God.
We see many such similarities in the present day believer’s life.
They lose focus on God and begin to desire other things more than God.
Giving priority to things over God can lead them to worthless condition and no use for God.
B. They took God for granted (6-7)
God led them through the barren wilderness, deserts and rifts, through the land of drought and darkness where no one traveled that route before.
God did not abandon them in the wilderness but brought them into land of plenty.
But the people of Israel defiled the Promise Land with detestable deeds.
Instead of being grateful to God they defiled the land and took God for granted.
We have experienced God’s love and grace through many difficult times, discouragements, disappointments, hopeless situations.
What we are today is just by the grace of God.
But the question is: Are we taking God for granted?
For every social appointment we will be 10-15 minutes earlier but worship service at church always 15-20 late because we take God for granted.
Our hearts are God’s temple and we continue to defile HIS treasure by our deeds and desires.
III. GOD’S CHARGE AGAINST HIS COVENANT PEOPLE
A. They rejected their glorious God (9-12)
People of Israel are God’s covenant people.
They became worse than the non-Israelites who were faithful to their gods.
The BIBLE says that their gods are not God at all..
The prophet delivers the charge that God’s covenant people gave up their holy God for worthless pagan gods, culture and its practices.
The Lord is bringing the charge against so called believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is charging the believers that they are worse than the non-believers.
In spite of the fact that they worship a Holy and Living God, they often drifted away from HIM.
They assimilate and followed worldly ways and its values.
Many are exchanging the holy God to perishable things of the world.
Most of non-Christian religious groups are more faithful in their beliefs and in their practices than the vast majority of Christian believers who profess faith in the true Living God but their deeds say otherwise.
B. Two specific sins (13)
1. They have left springs of living water,
Fresh water sustained the Israelites throughout their desert journey.
God provided that fresh water to the body and living water for the soul.
God is disappointed in us for the way we run after other things to please our souls.
HE is simply reminding us that HE is the source of all that our soul needs.
2. They had dug for themselves cisterns and broken cannot hold water.
Cistern captures the rain water and has no outlet.
Water is fresh momentarily and flat and tasteless as the time goes by.
Broken cistern cannot hold water like a broken vessel.
What are the broken cisterns that we can identify with?
Without Christ in our heart all routine religious activities look like broken cisterns.
The world offers nothing but broken cisterns.
They look very impressive, alluring, and desirable but nothing satisfies the soul.
At the end they will leave us dry and empty – many suicides are the best examples
These world attractions are like stagnated water in the broken cisterns.
Our heart is like a broken cistern because of sin but Christ’s precious blood cleanses and refreshes our souls and fills us with the living water.
God desires that we revere HIM, depend upon HIM and trust Him all the time.
Word of Caution: Never take God for granted because our Glorious God is Holy.