The prophets give false prophecies, and the priests rule with an iron hand. Worse yet, my people like it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?
~Jeremiah 5:31, NLT
Always keep the end in mind.
Jeremiah was the last great prophet of the time of the kings. He actually witnessed first hand the death of the nation. Judah would go into exile for 70 years and they would return, or at least a remnant would return but there would be no more kings. The problem with Israel is that they refused to make God their king. They ceased to fear Him or obey Him. They were actually no better than their pagan neighbors. Instead of worshiping Yahweh, they worshiped the temple erected in His name. Instead of worshiping a person, they worshiped a place. They had drifted into multiculturalism and after worshiping their pagan idols, including Molech [which called for child sacrifice], they came to the HOUSE OF GOD and chanted in unison, “The temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, etc.” Then Jeremiah said an appalling and horrible thing has happen: the preacher would stand up and talk about ‘peace and prosperity,’ and the people loved it. The priest no longer followed God’s instruction but did as they pleased. Jeremiah called them a ‘foolish and senseless people:’ they had eyes but could not see, ears but could not hear. They were a nation of rebels and they had made the temple a hideout for criminals [lawbreakers].
In other words, Israel refused to obey God. They choose rather to do their own thing. God has given each of us the freedom to choose. We do not have to heed His word nor follow His commands but have you stopped to consider where this is going? Have you thought about how this is going to end? This is exactly what Jeremiah is trying to get Judah to do; consider the end. This is what I attempt to do in divorce counseling but it seldom works. People get their minds made up and they are determined to do things their way and unfortunately, they refuse to look at the consequences of their poor judgment. I try desperately to get them to fast forward and look at their life 20-30 years from now. They are in the parent stage but I try to get them to think about the GRANDPARENT era. Do you know what means more to a senior adult other than our relationship with Jesus…it is GRANDCHILDREN. Do you understand what divorce does to children? Go ahead, put yourself first, run off with someone else husband or wife but you will be sorry. Sooner or later your kids are going to figure it out: “He or she loved that person more than they did us; they put their happiness and interest over ours.” Are you ready for cold hard facts: they will never forgive you and you will grow old and lonely. Take Jeremiah’s advice, think about how this is going to end.
What about Israel? They didn’t want the LORD telling them what to do but they became slaves to foreigners who didn’t care a thing about them. The LORD was a good master: He loved them. They never give any consideration to how their rebellion would end. Always keep the end in mind.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
– Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
– Why the early bird gets the worm;
– Life isn’t always fair;
– And maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition. Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 5 stepbrothers;
– I Know My Rights
– I Want It Now
– Someone Else Is To Blame
– I’m A Victim
– Pay me for Doing Nothing
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.