Jeremiah 7:18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
There’s so much truth in today’s Scripture reading, it’s hard to journal on just one of them. However, the Scripture above is notably heart breaking, and a stern warning to parents like myself. Early in chapter 7, we see that these families were in God’s house. They were gathered to worship. They proclaimed “the house of the Lord”. And yet further in the chapter, we see them – as a family – gathering sticks, and making preparations to sacrifice to the god of their world (“the queen of heaven”). It is sad to read of seemingly good families, who may have loved the Lord, and brought their families to church to hear the Word, and to worship – yet, the parents sought and served the things of the world through the rest of the week. And here is where the heartbreak is: their children were just as involved as they were in serving those gods. Their children gathered the sticks. The wives kneaded the dough. It was a family affair. And it provoked God to anger and jealousy. And their children suffered the consequences as much, if not more than they did.
Maybe it’s the god of materialism. Maybe it’s the “almighty dollar”. Maybe it’s a degree or career. Maybe it’s sports. A god in our lives is anything that takes the place of God in His rightful place in our lives and homes. And there are many gods in our world. They may not be statues or spirits. Our gods have become more sofisticated. They have ram, an OS, a keyboard, presidents faces, three letters (MBA, PHD), or a host of other things. I wonder how many of us serve the God of heaven on Sunday, and serve the gods of our world the rest of the week. My prayer this morning is that I’d examine and evaluate my week and ask, is there anything in my life or my home that has taken place where God should be. Because our children are watching, and they too may become consumed with and serve what serve. Has time on the tablet replaced family alter? Has overtime replaced family time? Has sports replaced a Deut. 6:6-9 atmosphere? Have late nights out eating or playing hindered my morning time with God? I pray not. I’d hate to look back and see that I involved my children in the worship of gods of this world. Might we serve the same God Monday-Saturday as we do on Sunday, and involve our children in it as we do.
Other notable Scripture from this morning’s reading:
Jeremiah 8:12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among them that fall: in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, saith the LORD. – Have we lost the ability to “blush”, or be ashamed when we sin, and as we come before the Lord to talk about it?
Jeremiah 9:7-9 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people? Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait. Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? – He desires truth in the inward parts.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. – Not in preaching ability, not in talent, but in knowing and understanding HIM.