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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 7

Verses 1-34

  1. Intro:
    1. Story - In a small college town a tavern frequented by students ran the following ad in the campus paper during the days before Parents Weekend: "Bring Your Parents for Lunch Saturday. We'll Pretend We Don't Know You!" The ad was soon challenged by the college chaplain, who posted a revised version on the campus bulletin board. It read: "Bring Your Parents to Chapel Sunday. We'll Pretend We Know You!"
      1. Judah was showing up to church/Temple but hypocritically!
    2. 4 Indictments against Judah: [1] Playing church, is a waist [2] Praying, is a waist [3] Sacrificing, is a waist [4] & Correction, is awaist.
  2. PLAYING CHURCH, IS A WASTE! (1-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​INTRO (1,2) THE TEMPLE SERMON!
      1. Picture me speaking in front of the church(portico) while you were coming in!
      2. Show - Temple Diagram/Gate.
      3. Here is God’s answer to the Parrot-Cry “The Temple of the Lord…” which appeals to Conscience; Reason; then History.
    2. CONSCIENCE (3-7)
      1. vs.3 - How generous is God’s door of Mercy…only to be slammed in His face! Ever have someone slam a phone down on you? How did you feel?
      2. Is.1:13 “Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies; I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.”
      3. “We mold are faces to fit our mask!”
      4. vs.4 - The Temple of the Lord; the Ark of the Lord; the Sacrifice of the Lord, Calvary Chapel;…
      5. “Nothing can happen to Jerusalem cuz this is where the Temple is!”
        1. Interesting that the Jews didn’t abandon temple ministry, they simply brought their idolatry in the temple courts, & made Jehovah 1 of the many gods they worshipped.
      6. Q: What is your trust in?(your wife’s holiness?)
        Q: Where is your confidence?
      7. Ps.65:5 “By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, And of the far-off seas.”
      8. vs.6 & 9 - According to vs.6 & 9, they were guilty of breaking 5 out of 10 commandments.
      9. vs.10 - I felt the same after going to “confession”!
    3. REASON (8-11)
      1. ​​​​​​​vs.10 - I guess we say this every time we knowingly sin, …somehow we’ve rationalized it?
      2. vs.11 - “There were…Robbers in God’s Living Room!”
      3. Instead of the popular game “Hide & go seek”, they played, “Hide & go sin!”
      4. 1st they tore up the commandments - then, showed up at church???
      5. “The Temple can only give sanctuary AS a Sanctuary!” {Derek kidner}
        1. When man takes over…God leaves.
      6. Note this progression/Digression: [1] Mt.21:13(My house) [2] Mt.23:38 (your house) [3] Mt.24:2(No house).
      7. In Isaiah’s day they said the worst could never happen! (Is.28:14,15,17/refuge of lies!)
      8. Q: Where is this spoken of in the N.T.? {Jesus refers to this when He cleanses the Temple}
      9. Q: A “Den of Thieves” is what? {a place where thieves hide after they’ve committed their crimes.
        1. The Jews were using the temple ceremonies to cover up their secret sins.
        2. “Instead of being made holy in the Temple; the people were making the Temple Unholy!”
        3. Isaiah preached the same sermon in Is.1:10-13 100 yrs. earlier.
      10. Jesse James killed a fellow in a bank robbery and shortly thereafter was baptized in the Kearney Baptist Church. Then he killed another man, a bank cashier, and joined the church choir and taught hymn-singing. He liked Sundays, Jesse did, but he couldn't always show up at church. On two Sundays, he robbed trains.
    4. HISTORY! (12-15)
      1. Unfortunately again History repeats itself! - They conveniently forgot past judgments!
      2. vs.12-14 - Shiloh is twice called in to remind Judah of this terrible hypocritical religion they observed(ch.26).
        1. Show Shiloh Picture
        2. Nothing left but broken pots! (show)
      3. vs.15 - Ephraim is brought in as a recent example!
      4. Once God pronounced “Ichabod”(The Glory has departed) over the Tabernacle, for the same reasons!
  3. PRAYING, IS A WASTE! (16-20)
    1. ​​​​​​​vs.16 - 3 times Jeremiah was instructed NOT to pray for them(7:16; 11:4;14:11)
      1. What a scary indictment against them!
    2. But, God allowed Abraham to pray for wicked Sodom(Gen.18:23-33). God allowed Moses to intercede for sinful Israel(Ex.32,33; Num.14)
    3. Q: Does this give us the right to call off prayer? Q: Why not?
      Q: What’s the difference? (Here’s a nation judged/& God is the oneknowing there is no more time for them)
    4. Not to pray here is as logical as it was startling!
    5. vs.17,18 - “It’s a family affair!”…sad! National Decay starts in the home!
    6. Queen of Heaven” - Ishatar(Ashtarte), Babylonian goddess of love & fertility. {Many clay statues have been discovered, usually depicting accented female features.}
      1. Involved very abominable obsenities! - No different then some churches today! (Naked church)-(big pulpit? - New meaning to Pews?)
    7. Cakes” - It is generally noted the cakes were made in the shape of human beings.
    8. Q: Am I serving others gods? (questionnaire)
    9. I couldn’t live without ________________________________________.
      When my mind is idle, it automatically turns to ____________________.
      If I could have anything in the world, I would choose ________________.
      The most important thing (or person) to me is ______________________.
      I know God wants me to______________________________, but I can’t.
    10. vs.19 - Grieving God? Yes…but they were hurting themselves! (going to lose their land, city, temple, & people.
      1. A bad bargain… “the permanent for the immediate”.
  4. SACRIFICING, IS A WASTE! (21-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​If telling them “don’t waste time praying” didn’t shock them - then not to “waste good meat” must have knocked their Yamica’s off!
    2. God wants _______(obed.) not sacrifice. (1 sam.15:22)
    3. God wants _______(mercy.) not sacrifices. (Hos.6:6)
    4. God has 3 requirements instead of 1000 rams! (Micah 6:6,7)
    5. Sad… They were hiding behind religion!
    6. Yes this sacrificial system was precious to God…but not at the absence of the devotion of the people.
  5. CORRECTION, IS A WASTE! (27-34)
    1. ​​​​​​​3 down 1 to go! “A hunter shot & brought down an eagle. When he examined the bird, he was amazed to find that one of its claws was held firmly in a strong steel trap from which dangled a 5-foot chain. Although not heavy enough to prevent the creature from flying, the additional weight had wearied the eagle and brought it down within reach of his rifle. So, too, the Christian can be entrapped and brought low spiritually by encumbrances and sin which make him incapable of rising to the heights he might otherwise attain.
      1. Here Judah was flying low enough to get hit by the last shot!
    2. Never assess the fruits of your preaching/evangelism by what we can immediately observe.
      1. The greatest of prophets had to preach to the un-hearing!
    3. vs.31 - The indictment reaches a new intensity - from breaking the decalogue(9) to…child sacrifice!
      1. Here’s where parents tried to buy their own safety at their children’s expense!
    4. Tophet = (Aramaic) “fireplace”. Sounds like the Hebrew word for “shame”. Topet in Job 17:6 = “spit”.
      1. Read - Is. 30:33 - it was where they sac. Children to idols in the fire.
      2. Josiah turned it into a garbage dump. 2 Kings 23:10.
      3. It was reinstated rt. after his death.
      4. In Greek (N.T.) it is translated Gehenna (Ge-hinnom/valley of Hinnom)
      5. They were thrown into Gehenna because they did not exercise faith in God! - “All who die w/o having exercised faith in Christ will be thrown there!”
    5. vs.34 - From sounds of mirth & gladness to the sound of an eerie “nothing”(desolate)!
  6. END:
    1. ​​​​​​​Q: Can you summarize Judah’s sin?
    2. Q: Why do you think it was hard for them to serve one god alone?
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 7". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-7.html. 2017.