Read Jeremiah 19:1-15
It has been a while since I've been able to get back to my study of Jeremiah, but how appropriate that I begin the New Year with a post about a nation that has gone too far. During Jeremiah's time his people pushed God and pushed Him until He finally said, "That's it! I'm done with you! Get ready to see what life is like without me."
Of course, I'm paraphrasing here, but that is exactly what happened to Jeremiah's people. In this chapter the Lord continues on with using the potter and pottery as symbols for Him and His people. As Jeremiah is told once more to go and prophesy, we begin to realize how the Lord has taken His hands off the people, by letting them go their own way.
When a nation rejects God and His authority and supremacy over them, they soon begin to indulge in all manner of sins and they start accepting these sins as normal practices and beliefs. Unfortunately, they do not honour God. In Jeremiah’s day, this meant Israel indulged in and adapted the practices of idol worship from other nations. In particular, they began worshipping the demon god Baal and committed the ultimate blasphemy by sacrificing their children on altars of fire. Today, we draw back in horror at such a thought. Yet the practice of abortion is no different. Babies are sacrificed everyday in the name of a "woman's choice". At six-weeks old a baby's heartbeat can be detected. I know this for a fact as I heard my daughter's heart beat at six weeks old. At twelve weeks they have already developed fingers and toes and yet abortionists will claim to the moon and back they are nothing but a pile of goo. This lie has become so ingrained in society that to utter the truth is akin to blasphemy in secular society. Even when the truth comes out, people refuse to hear it.
So what happens when a nation rejects God and adapts pagan beliefs and practices? God gives them over to their depravity and in His anger makes it even worse. This particular chapter of Jeremiah is hard to read because God allows several things to happen that result in parents eating their own children due to starvation.
Jeremiah 19:9 says, "I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and everyone shall eat the flesh of his friend in the siege and in the desperation with which their enemies and those who seek their lives shall drive them to despair.”
This is hard to fathom. God caused this? Why? We are told in Jeremiah 19:4-6:
“Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind), therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
The Valley of the Son of Hinnom was also known to the people as Tophet, which means “place of fire” it was known as the place where people sacrificed their children by fire to Molek (Molech) who was associated with Baal worship. In later years, the valley became the city’s garbage dump where the corpses of criminals were thrown and trash was burned. Fires burned there continually and so it soon became a symbol of future judgment. The word “hell” is derived from the Greek Gehenna, which comes from the Hebrew ge’hinnom, which is in reference to the Valley of Hinnom.
God took His hands off the nation of Israel and they would go into captivity in Babylon and would stay in captivity for seventy years. This blatant disregard for God and His ways resulted in horrors that the people brought on themselves. God just allowed their depravity to increase. He took His hands off them and let them go their own way.
What can we learn from this? Quite a bit actually! But the main question we need to ask ourselves is this - has the world reached this point yet? I live in Canada, but I'm thinking of America too while I write this. While both nations are bad and governments the world over are overflowing with corruption, I ask myself - have we reached the point of no return? Has God taken His hands off us to let us go further into depravity and seal our own fate?
Time will tell.