Jeremiah 5:30-31 30 “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?” (NIV)
It was a terrible combination: lies, self-rule and cruise control. What was going on in Jeremiah’s day?
1) The prophets stopped mentioning sin. Why drag everyone down? Instead they were announcing, “Do whatever – God doesn’t mind. Follow your heart. If it feels good, do it. So go ahead – have more sex with whomever! Make life all about the money. Gain power – doesn’t matter how you get it. Worshiping God = very optional.” It seemed as though the prophets would get away with it…but what was God’s take? A horrible and shocking thing has happened: the prophets prophesy lies.
2) The priests were addicted to self-rule. Their Bibles collected dust. They were “in ministry” only for themselves. Even though they were God’s religious leaders, they lived as though God was on a permanent vacation, and their house was the party house. It probably seemed as though they’d get away with it too…but what did God think? A horrible and shocking thing has happened…the priests rule by their own authority.
3) The prophets and priests led people AWAY from God, not towards him. Would the lay people stand for it? Would they know that this didn’t sound quite right? Would they embrace God’s truth on their own? No. Instead, they were enjoying the life of unrepentance. They liked it this way – life without accountability and without God. And they convinced themselves that they were sort-of godly anyways. Would they get away with it? God announced, “A horrible and shocking thing has happened…my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end?”
What will the sinner do in the end? The answer is nothing. Only God does the talking on Judgment Day. He will judge you either GUILTY of lies, self-rule and loving the unrepentant lifestyle. Or he will judge you NOT GUILTY through the blood of Jesus.
What will you do in the end? It’s a helpful question to ask. Then we easily determine that the deadly mix of lies, self-rule and cruise control is what it is: something to be avoided at all costs.
Prayer: Gracious God, I don’t want to enjoy the tantalizing lies of this world. Help me to openly admit my sinfulness, and embrace deep repentance. Then I will stay close to you all the days of my life, until the day you announce me to be NOT GUILTY of sin through your Son Jesus Christ alone. Amen.