The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of April 6 - April 12, 2014, is Jeremiah 7:9-11. During this time in Judah, a godly king, Josiah was ruling. Josiah was restoring the Temple of the Lord and, in the process, discovered the Laws of Moses, including the Ten Commandments given by the Lord God. Josiah repentance and return to the Lord was heartfelt. He wanted to live a life pleasing to the Lord. As it is today, when a celebrity follows a new path, the masses follow along. Unfortunately, the masses were not sincere. They were simply pretending. As you meditate, pray, and reflect on this week's passage, consider if you are simply one of the masses or the celebrity leading the charge.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Stand in the gate of the Lord's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever. “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 7:1-11, ESV)
The masses came to the Temple of the Lord because it was the popular, yet their everyday actions did not change. They continued to make offerings to false gods, participate in religious activities related to worshipping these false gods, and commit acts that went against the Laws of the Lord. Yet they came to the Lord's Temple and sought forgiveness from the Lord. If they were truly repentant, their actions would change. The Israelites falsely believed that because they were in possession of the Lord's Temple, they could not be conquered. The Lord's Temple did not provide salvation or protection! To worship it as such was to treat it as a false god. The Lord provides salvation and protection! He is the One we are to worship!
How similar are we to the Israelites to which Jeremiah prophesized? Do you, or people you know, believe that they are saved because they go to church every week? Or that because they are saved they can live their life however they want? Not all false gods are statues of Baal. Today, many place money over worshipping the Lord. Some place sleep over worshipping the Lord. Others still place watching television, playing video games, surfing the internet, curling up with a book, etc. before worshipping the Lord. None of the aforementioned activities are bad individually, but when we place above the worship of our Lord and Savior, they become false gods. As you meditate, pray, and reflect on this week's passage, consider: Are you one of masses, following along with no real commitment? Or are like Josiah, willing to change everything to please the Lord?