Coachlight Bible Study

Jeremiah Chapter 7 - Conventional Wisdom Over God’s Word


Psalm 132:13  For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Psalm 132:14  This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it


Micah 3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.


This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.


Jeremiah Chapter 7 – Conventional Wisdom Over God’s Word


Have you ever noticed that so called, “conventional wisdom” is seldom proven correct, but that many people still adhere to it?  God’s Word, however, is eternally the Truth’.  But the people of Judah had an ear for conventional wisdom and did not listen to God.  They had forsaken God and replaced Him with religion.  Therefore they faced judgment.


The nation of Judah, while retaining Jerusalem as their capitol and the presence of the temple, had at least an interest in the outward appearance of worshipping their covenant God, but was influenced and seduced by the Pagan  religions around them.  In fact, by the time of King Josiah, the last good king of Judah, Idol worship was the norm in Judah and the temple was neglected and the Word of God lost – literally.


Early in the reign of the good king Josiah, Josiah began to seek after God.  Realizing that idol worship was much more hideous than just worshipping an idol, Josiah began reform by destroying the high places and remodeling the temple of God.  You see that when a man makes an idol for himself, it is just a reflection of the natural man’s inner desires and covetousness’.  The high places consisted of a grove of trees and an altar where human sacrifices were made and all sorts of sexual orgies were carried out in the name of religion.  Josiah destroyed them all.


During the time of remodeling the temple, Jeremiah’s father found the Word of God hidden and long lost in the temple. The Word of God was read to the king and the people. Revival  broke out. (II Chronicles 35:10-18)  This was the last revival for this nation.  Revival always happens when the Word of God is acknowledged. 


During the first 5 years of Jeremiah’s ministry there was reformation, because of Josiah’s seeking God, and revival, because the neglected and lost Book of the Law had been found. Josiah’s leadership brought about a revival of the feasts in Judah. This revival was mainly an outward manifestation, because there was no actual change in the people’s heart.  This is evidence that there was no true repentance.


Now, beginning in chapter 7, the temple is remodled and the Book found.  In this study we will explore what it was that stood in the way of the people of Judah repenting.


Judah was in its last days because of its own decay and corruption and the parallels to the United States at this part of its existence is undeniable.  The result of no true repentance in the last days of Judah was that the people rejected God, and therefore God eventually rejected them.  Will this happen to the US as well?


I. God Said That With True Repentance You Will Stay In The Land


The Greek Word in the Bible meaning repentance is:


Acts 20:21  Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.


3341 μετανοια metanoia met-an’-oy-ah - from 3340; n f

repentance 24; 24

1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done


God’s plea to the people of Judah was:


Jeremiah 4:1 ¶  If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.


07725 שׁוב shuwb shoob - a primitive root; v;

return 391,  … again 248, turn 123,  … back 65,  … away 56, restore 39, bring 34, render 19, answer 18, recompense 8, recover 6, deliver 5, put 5, withdraw 5, requite 4, misc 40; 1066


1) to return, turn back

to bring back to mind

to bring back, refresh, restore

to bring back, report to, answer

to bring back, make requital, pay (as recompense)

to turn back or backward, repel, defeat, repulse, hinder, reject, refuse

to turn away (face), turn toward

to turn against

to show a turning away - to reverse, revoke


II. Their Conventional Wisdom Had Two Main Sources:


1.) Voice of the False Prophets:  Ezekiel 13:3, 10; Jeremiah 27:15

False Prophets deny God’s Word with their message:  Jerusalem will not be destroyed

This we would call today a “positive message”


2.) Voice of Contemporary Psychology: Jeremiah 29:29-30; Ezekiel 18:10

Excuses -  “Fathers have eaten sour grapes and their children’s teeth are set on edge” – Our fathers were idolaters, and that is the reason we practice idolatry.


III. Do They Really Need To Face Judgment?


Jeremiah 7:1 ¶  The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,

Jeremiah 7:2  Stand in the gate of the LORD’S house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the LORD.

Jeremiah 7:3  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place.


The temple now had been remodeled and must have been quite a sight.  The new “thing to do” was to visit the temple.  As the people would enter the gate to the court of the women or the gate to the court of the Gentiles, they would go through an outward appearance of worshipping God.  God sends His Word, pleading with the people to repent so they do not have to face judgment.


Can we see Jeremiah pointing to the buildings and courts of the temple and admonishing the people gathered not to trust in the conventional wisdom concerning the temple?


Judah had strayed far from God, neglected the temple, and had even misplaced the Word of God. Because of this, God had his two servants to pleed with the people and encourage them to return to God. Josiah, the last good king of Judah, had torn down the high places of idol woship, and remodled the temple. During the remodeling of the temple, the Word of God was found and read to the king, priests, and the people.  Jeremiah, God’s prophet, is giving God’s Word to the people.


It was easy at this time to be "religious" and mention to each other how beautiful the workmanship on the temple was, and wasn’t it great to get back to the temple. It was the coll thing to do.


The problem was that there was no change of heart. The reformation caused by Josiah’s actions was mainly an outward expression and not heartfelt.


These same people were encouraged by their corrupt political and false religious leaders and prophets, to believe that God would never destroy Jerusalem or the temple. They might even use Scripture such as found in the book of Psalms:


Psalm 132:13 For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

Psalm 132:14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.


While it is true that Jerusalem will be God’s "rest forever," the future of this nation of Judah was determined by each individual’s esteem of God’s Word. The false prophets and teachers, as well as political leaders would point to Scripture as in Psalms above, and conclude that God would never destroy the place he has chosen. No matter how you esteem God’s Word, or live your life, the nation and the temple will survive.


This is, of course, the popular and profitable message, but is completely against the Truth of God’s  Word, Micah intimated this as he stated:


Micah  3:11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.


We can see that the popular message and conventional wisdom was and is always a perversion, but can many times be backed up by twisted Scripture. The encouragement then and now is to go the "way of least resistance" or the popular  way.  This "way" is to think and act whatever is natural to do and since God is a loving God, He will understand.  In other words, choose religion over holiness.


IV.  Deceived Because Of Twisting Scripture


Jeremiah 7:4  Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, The temple of the LORD, are these.


What are the lying words?  The people were telling each other how their heart’s desire was set on worshipping God.  There was an outward expression, but no inward change.  Actually, The people, with the help of false prophets, were denying that theu faced judgment by twisting Scripture.   Since God had chosen Zion for His habitation,  (Psalm 132:13-14), He would not destroy it. This twistiung Scripture will be explained later in this chapter.


V. God’s House Compared To A Den Of Thieves


Jeremiah 7:5  For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;

Jeremiah 7:6  If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:

Jeremiah 7:7  Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.

Jeremiah 7:8  Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.

Jeremiah 7:9  Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom

Jeremiah 7:9  Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;

Jeremiah 7:10  And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?

Jeremiah 7:11  Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.


God is expressing the obvious.  The people would outwardly worship God without a change in their lives.  They would carry on after leaving the temple just like they did before.  God is rhetorically stating that they are treating His house as a robber would treat his hideout.  They used the temple as a safe haven so they could carry on their evil ways with impunity.

VI. An Example Not Considered By Judah


Jeremiah 7:12  But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.


In Joshua’s day, God had set His tabernacle in Shiloh (Between Shechem and Beth-el in Ephraim.  (Joshua 18:1; Judges 18:31), but God , during Eli’s time had given the Ark of the Covenant into the Philistine’s hands.  Jeremiah 26:6;  I Samuel 4:10-11; Psalm 78:56-61.  God refuted the voice of the false prophets by making the point that the above tabernacle was much older that this latest temple, but look at the judgment it faced.  History had already disproved their “conventional Wisdom”


VII. God Raises Up Early


Jeremiah 7:13  And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;


The metaphor of God rising up early gives the meaning that “God demonstrated untireing earnestness with His plea to His people.


VIII. Judgment Is Eminent


Jeremiah 7:14  Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

Jeremiah 7:15  And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.


Because of the falsity of this people, God would pronounce judgment on Judah just like He did Israel.


IX. Do Not Intercede!


Jeremiah 7:16 ¶  Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.

Jeremiah 7:17  Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

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.


Whole families were practicing the most egregious evil idolatry.  They would make cakes of wheat and honey in the shape of disks and offer them to the moon goddess. Even the kids would split the wood to bake these religious cakes.  The Phoenicians called the moon Astarte, The queen of heaven, who was supposedly the wife of Baal or Moloch, the king of heaven.  The question was is this all done to provoke me to anger?


Jeremiah 7:19  Do they provoke me to anger? saith the LORD: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?

Jeremiah 7:20  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.

Jeremiah 7:21 ¶  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.

Jeremiah 7:22  For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:


When God led the children of Israel out of Egypt, He did not give them a national religion, and did not instruct them to be religious.  What God did set up is explained in the next set of Passages.


X. God’s Command As They Left Egypt


Jeremiah 7:23  But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.


Obey My voice and walk in My ways is what God desires.  God still desires us to stay in His Word and walk in the Spirit, not to be religious.


XI. The Amazing Patience Of The Righteous God


Jeremiah 7:24  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

Jeremiah 7:25  Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:

Jeremiah 7:26  Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.

Jeremiah 7:27  Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.

Jeremiah 7:28  But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.


XII. But At The Correct Time, Judgment Arives


Jeremiah 7:29 ¶  Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.

Jeremiah 7:30  For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the LORD: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.

Jeremiah 7:31  And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.

Jeremiah 7:32  Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.

Jeremiah 7:33  And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.

Jeremiah 7:34  Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.


We can see that Judah, just like her big sister, Israel, had refused to listen to God’s Word and had substituted religion in place of God’s Word.  Therefore they faced the wrath of God.


The United States has many bad leaders that need to be changed, but that is only the result of the problem.  The leadership would change quickly if the people changed.  Let’s all be Jeremiahs and proclaim God’s Word.