We are all familiar with the saying "all we seem to learn from history is that we don't
seem to learn from history." As we look at our society and compare it to Jeremiah's day too many similarities appear. I passed a church today that has a building of architectural beauty, and when it was built housed a congregation of exciting and vibrant worshippers. They stopped guarding against sin and liberalism crept in tearing away page after page of Biblical doctrine. If those who sacrificed to build the building were alive today they would rise up and declare their disbelief at the lack of sound doctrine being preached. Yes we need to Guard Against Sin in every way
1. Guard Against the Sin of . . Insincerity. 5:1-5
A. Guard Against the . . Artificial Ways Of Insincerity.
1 Roam through the streets of Jerusalem. Look and take note; search in her squares. If you find a single person, anyone who acts justly, who seeks to be faithful, then I will forgive her. 2 When they say, "As the Lord lives," they are swearing falsely.
B. Guard Against The . . Apostasy Of Insincerity.
3 Lord, don't Your eyes [look for] faithfulness? You have struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They made their faces harder than rock, and they refused to return. 4 Then I thought: They are just the poor; they have played the fool. For they don't understand the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. 5 I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the Lord, the justice of their God. However, these also had broken the yoke and torn off the fetters.
In this passage we see a very sad time in Israel's
history. God tells Jeremiah to go through the streets of Jerusalem, and
look for an individual who lives a godly life. The story becomes more sad
as God accuses the people of swearing by His name, but doing so in an artificial
manner. Their insincerity represents a complete turning away from God.
They are apostate. They are by physical birth called the children of God;
but no indication of a spiritual life. They did not guard against sin but
yielded to it. Even though the similarities can be seen today; believers
now are given the Holy Spirit at conversion. In addition, we have the life
of Christ as an example, and the Old and New Testaments, and the New Testament
gives us a new,
or better, covenant.
2. Guard Against the Sin of . . Infidelity. 5:7-8
A. Guard Against . . Spiritual Infidelity. 5:7
7 Why should I forgive you? Your children have abandoned Me and sworn by those who are not gods."
B. Guard Against . . Sexual Infidelity. 5:7 b -
". . . I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery; they gashed themselves at the prostitute's house. 8 They are well-fed, eager stallions, each neighing after someone else's wife.
All of us know we are to guard against sexual infidelity; but do we guard against spiritual infidelity? In Jeremiah's day God accuses the parents of raising children who commit the spiritual infidelity of abandoning Him. It always puzzles me how children of seemingly dedicated parents want no part of their parents religion. Perhaps it is evidence of the parents spiritual infidelity. Sexual infidelity is the by-product of spiritual infidelity. I heard a prominent pastor say he never knew a minister who committed sexual infidelity who also maintained a personal devotional life. Today with our busy schedules we must not forget to maintain spiritual faithfulness in Bible study and prayer.
3. Guard Against the Sin of . . Indifference. 5:11-12
A. Guard Against Indifferent . . Strategies. 5:11
11 They, the house of Israel and the house of Judah, have dealt very treacherously with Me. [This is] the Lord's declaration.
B. Guard Against Indifferent . . Speech. 5:12
12 They have contradicted the Lord and insisted, "It won't happen. Harm won't come to us; we won't see sword or famine."
Insincerity and infidelity finally gave way to indifference.
These people arrived at a place where they really did not care about the
Lord, or His ways. They became indifferent in their strategies as they
dealt deceitfully with the Lord. This indifference also revealed itself
in their speech. They contradicted the Lord, and insistently denied the
words of His prophet. They rejected the promised captivity and said the
sword would not come to them. In out text we see a progression that challenges
us to Guard Against Sin. Amen? Amen