Jeremiah 14:1-12 “Do Not Leave Us”

Posted on May 14, 2012. Filed under: Daily Journey |

Monday, May 14th, 2012 Bryan E. Walker

Maybe it was my fundamentalist Southern Baptist upbringing and all the revival sermons I heard in the1960’s-‘70’s. Or maybe it is my melancholic disposition that I consciously try to hide, cover-up, change. Or maybe, just maybe, it is because in the OT prophets and history I really do see my country, America, in my lifetime, much resembling Judah in Jeremiah’s day, slipping away into the judgment of the Lord. Irrevocable judgment. A judgment that wiped out a country; God’s country-Judah. I have felt this way since I was about 10 years old. 1968. Yeah, that figures; what a messed up year. Tet. Bobby Kennedy assassinated by a Palestinian muslim. Martin Luther King assassinated by a nut job racist, followed by race riots all across the country and US black athletes in the Olympics doing the black power salute during the national anthem. Classy. Oh, and the USS Pueblo and the North Koreans. Yeah; great year to turn 10. So now today I read Jeremiah 14 in my quiet time and realize that, no, it’s not just me. The Lord does judge nations.Americais being judged and it is being found wanting.


In Jer. 14 the prophet receives a word from the Lord during a severe drought. “Judahmourns and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry ofJerusalemgoes up. Her nobles send their servants for water; they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded….since there is no rain on the land, the farmers are ashamed….there is no grass….there is no vegetation.” To put it bluntly, this sounds likeTexaslast year (2011) when we had a record setting drought, heat wave, and wild fire season. It was an ecology changing drought that the scientists say could take decades to overcome. Oh, we city dwellers don’t see it. You turn on the tap and get water. You go to the store and buy it in bottles. But the ranchers had to sell off their herds, farmers were ruined. Deer herds dwindled and the Bobwhites died. The lakes got so low that ancient Indian sites were uncovered and the archeologists were scrambling to beat the souvenir hunters. It hasn’t been this bad since the Anasazi left the 4 Corners. At least our good Governor, Rick Perry called for a State day of prayer for rain. And he was roundly criticized for that. Our churches should have been full of people repenting in the face of the judgment of God. But they weren’t.


Maybe because we understand El Nino now we no longer believe that God can judge a nation through drought?  The financial collapse of 2008 and the continuing recession (alright, it is really a Great Depression but the news media just won’t say it because a Dem is in the White House) are surely a judgment from God. But church attendance has not improved. We see the country moving further towards socialism which never works and only brings more judgment. I see no mass repentance.


Well after 9/11 we had a surge in church attendance as people recognized that we had actually been attacked on our home soil for the first time sincePearl Harbor. That lasted two weeks. Yep, I was pastoring back then and our attendance increased by 50% the Sunday after 9/11. The next Sunday it was down to 25%. The next Sunday it was back to normal. Real repentance there. Not.


Listen to Jeremiah’s plea: vss.7-8 “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. O you hope ofIsrael, its Saviour in times of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land…?” Yes, OUR iniquities do testify against us. And it is not just the iniquities of the pagans, the criminals, the politicians and the rich. It is OUR iniquities, God’s people, the Church.Me. You. The bottom line is that IF the Church had done its job in the past 50 years,America would not be in the fix we are in today. The Church was divided over core doctrines and many churches have apostatized. Our evangelism was weak and man-centered and our prayer meetings were not. We did not get involved in social issues when our country needed us and we let the pagans set the country’s agenda from TV to school curriculums to the Supreme Court. We were having Hal Lindsey Prophecy conferences while the courts legalized abortion. What am I doing TODAY to stem the flow of evil that pours out from our country? How are MY backslidings helping anything? Indeed, my iniquities testify against me.


Jeremiah pleads in vs.9 “Yet, you O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us.” Now we know the doctrine of eternal security, that we are once saved, always saved, and that Jesus will never depart from the heart of a real believer. But what about for our country?America has always been known as a Christian nation (despite what President Obama says). And we know that that does NOT mean every citizen is a Christian. Indeed, I doubt we are above 20% actual Christians today. But what wouldAmerica look like if God DID leave us as a nation? If He took his hand of protection and blessing away fromAmerica, if he stops “shedding His grace on us”?


If the Lord took his hand away from us I would expect to see sin abound more, and more, so that what is evil would be called good by our leaders and that which is good would be called evil. Do we see that? I would expect the Lord would cause our wealth to collapse if He took away His hand of protection. Do we see that? I would expect to see drought, storms, plagues, etc. Well the plague hasn’t hit yet. Has it? Huge military defeats tend to be a sign of God’s disapproval and that hasn’t yet happened. But, when was the last war we actually won?


The Lord answers Jeremiah’s plea with vs. 10 “Thus says the Lord concerning this people: they have loved to wander thus; and they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.” The passage concludes with one of the strangest verses, vs.11-12 “The Lord said to me: ‘Do not pray for the welfare of this people. Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”


Friends, we have only two choices: repent, believe and follow Jesus or face the judgment of God. God will always be merciful to those who call on the name of the Lord. I urge you to seek Him because The Day approaches. Only those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved in the end. God’s grace is deep and wide, there’s still room for one…


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