2:4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.
2:5 Thus says the LORD: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?
2:6 They did not say, “Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?”
2:7 I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.
2:8 The priests did not say, “Where is the LORD?” Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.
2:9 Therefore once more I accuse you, says the LORD, and I accuse your children’s children.
2:10 Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing.
2:11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit.
2:12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the LORD,
2:13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.
No matter how much we try to find satisfaction and happiness in things other then God, we will always come up empty and short. Only through a deep and intimate relationship with God can we fully be content in all things.
The nation of Israel was being condemned for having forgotten how faithful God was and the provisions He made for them. They became selfish and greedy, looking for what the world had to offer them instead of what was already given to them from the hand of God.
The nation had taken the many blessings that God had given them and traded it in for the temporary pleasures of this world. Verse 7 talks about how God had provided them with a land that He had set aside only for them and upon entering it they set God aside, living as though He played no role in their journey to this promised land. The word abomination may be harsh to some but it described the severity of just how little God does not tolerate sin.
Sin is the very thing that leads us to forgetting God’s faithfulness in our lives, loosing out on experiencing God’s blessings and being kept secure in God’s love. Let us always take the time to recall all the ways that God has blessed us. Starting with sending His son to die and save us from our sins, from there we can only be guaranteed everlasting security and safety in the arms of our Savior. Let us choose God over sin and remind our hearts that are prone to wander, to keep our love and affections fixed upon Him alone.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be,
Let that grace now like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love.
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Lyrics by: Chris Rice
God’s judgement on Israel was a long time coming. They had strayed from God and worshipped other Gods and allowed themselves to be led by prophets of Baal. There hundreds of years between the showdown of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. The fact that they are still abandoning the Lord after so many generations is worthy of judgement. But God was patient with them. They had 1000 years to get it right and they refused to be faithful. Shortly After Jeremiah wrote these words (or during) the armies from the east came in a trampled the Northern Kingdom of Israel, leaving just Judah in the south. The remnant of Judah was a stark reminder of the difference between walking with God and walking with away from God.
We are in a different covenant today. We have a different set of parameters since we are under grace. But we are still responsible to walk with God every day and put Him first in all we do. Whether it’s work, home life, our marriages, or even social life, we are charged with living by the Spirit and demonstrating to the world that we belong to the Lord.
“If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16)
[Featured image from biblia.com]