Day 78: Having It Their Own Way

Jeremiah 16:8-13

“You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and to drink.” For Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: “Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. It will happen, when you tell this people all these words, and they ask you, ‘Why has Yahweh pronounced all this great evil against us?’ or ‘What is our iniquity? or ‘What is our sin that we have committed against Yahweh our God?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me,’ says Yahweh, ‘and have walked after other gods, have served them, have worshiped them, have forsaken me, and have not kept my law. You have done evil more than your fathers, for behold, you each walk after the stubbornness of his evil heart, so that you don’t listen to me. Therefore I will cast you out of this land into the land that you have not known, neither you nor your fathers. There you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’

Here we read that Jeremiah was not only to avoid funerals, he wasn’t allowed to attend parties and weddings. Once again, God was using the physical behavior of His prophet to illustrate the reality of His words. Jeremiah was to tell them that this is because this generation of people would witness the end of parties and weddings in their culture.

God anticipated that the people would ask: “Why?” God tells them that it’s not only because their fathers worshiped gods, but that they have made it worse by walking after the stubbornness of their own evil hearts and refusing to listen. This shows us something about mankind. These people were stubbornly doing whatever they wanted to do against God while calling God: “Yahweh our God.” They thought that if they just called themselves people of God, then that is what they were. Isn’t that what we have today as well. People call themselves “Christians” even though they stubbornly refuse to obey what the Bible says about Christians. Instead they walk after their own evil hearts without listening.

When mankind is stubborn and refuses to listen to God’s way, He gives them over to their own. This is a very clear pattern in the Bible and it is emphasized in the New Testament. In this case, God was going to send Israel into captivity in Babylon and they were going to have their full of gods there, but the one true God was going to leave them. I want to make it clear that this is a general statement. We know from the book of Daniel that it wasn’t an exhaustive statement. There were at least four Israelis that refused to follow the Babylonian ways while in captivity and were protected by God.

This same thing is happening to cultures today. It appears to be happening to the United States even now. Here’s what it says in Romans one:

Romans 1:21-26

Because knowing God, they didn’t glorify him as God, and didn’t give thanks, but became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless heart was darkened.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves; who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature.