Talks for Growing Christians
The Vanity of False Worship
Lesson Number 7
- Religious buildings do not avert God’s judgment.
- Religious ceremonies do not avert God’s judgment.
- Don’t pray for God’s blessing on everyone!
- This message or sermon of Jeremiah was given at what location in Jerusalem?
- Who was the king of Judah recently ascended to the throne prior to this sermon?
- The people of Judah often repeated the phrase, “The temple of the LORD.” What did they hope to accomplish with this recitation?
- What were two of the religious ceremonies practiced by the people which involved food and drink and which angered God?
- What was the one religious ceremony practiced by the people which involved their children and which brought God’s judgment?
- Jeremiah delivered this message or sermon at a gate of the temple complex in Jerusalem (verse 2). It is therefore often called the “Temple Sermon.”
- Jehoiakim had recently ascended the throne of Judah after the untimely death of his father, Josiah, in 609 BC.
- The people thought they would be protected from God’s judgment by repeating this phrase three times, claiming what they thought was the invincibility of the Temple.
- The people practiced making cakes for the queen of heaven, and pouring out drink offerings to other gods (verse 18) which provoked God to anger.
- The people actually practiced child sacrifice in the Hinnom Valley just south of the city walls which was totally foreign to the mind of God (verse 30, 31).
- God, through Jeremiah, makes it clear that religious buildings, no matter how beautiful, huge or impressive, do not avert God’s judgment when false and pagan religious practices take place in and around them. He also makes clear that religious ceremonies, no matter how sincere, do not avert God’s judgment when they are deliberatively wicked and disobedient to the Word of God.
Do you discern evidence of churches in this country depending on their beautiful buildings to impress God and avert his judgment while there is an absence of true worship among the people inside? Will there be Christians implicated in the ceremony
of child sacrifice taking place in our country in the name of freedom of choice?
- Jeremiah’s prophesy demonstrates so forcefully how God opposes (and will judge) false worship. Are there areas of your worship (particularly your individual worship) which have been sincere, but have nonetheless given way to “ceremony” which has become only vain repetition, or church attendance which has become only a soothing of conscience, or praise which has become only an idol of attention on self and others?
“Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD . . .’” Jeremiah 7:2
- “Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, ‘Hear the word of the LORD . . .’” Jeremiah 7:2