Michael Wilcock

READ : Jeremiah 7:1-15

Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of

the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” (v. 4)

After twenty years of Josiah’s thoroughgoing reforms, his son Jehoiakim inherited what
in our times might be called a “Christian nation.” Judah was outwardly religious. Its
dollar bills — if it had had them — would have declared “In God We Trust.”

But it was a hollow claim. In spite of all the efforts of both king and prophet, the
hearts of the people were still not right. Jeremiah had long since accused them of not
loving their God, and with the start of a new reign it quickly became obvious that they
didn’t really understand him either. The temple in Jerusalem was a thriving operation, and
as long as the people looked after that they assumed the Lord would look after them. But
obeying him? They weren’t interested. They proudly went to church on Sunday, so to speak,
but then happily centered their daily life around other “gods.” And unless they grasped
what the temple was really about, and changed their lives accordingly, they stood to lose
not only it but everything else as well.

We are surrounded by folk who labor under the same sort of delusion today, who assume
that paying lip-service to God is enough. In this respect also the prophet’s mantle now
falls on the Christian church. If we don’t dispel the fog and make the truth clear, who


Clarity in seeing, clarity in explaining: Lord, for these gifts we ask.