Scripture: Jeremiah 7:16-19
“No wonder I am so angry! Watch how the children gather wood and the fathers build sacrificial fires. See how the women knead dough and make cakes to offer to the Queen of Heaven. And they pour out liquid offerings to their other idol gods!” (Jeremiah 7:18, NLT).
Speaking through Jeremiah, God laments the utter corruption of his people. They practice their idolatry openly (v.7). They reject the prophets (v.25). Truth has vanished from them (v.28). Their idolatrous practices involve the whole family (v.18). Their sin is so great, God tells Jeremiah not to pray for them (v.16). Yet God points out that their sin does not harm him, but rather them (v.19). Although he expects no response from his people, God still orders Jeremiah to shout out his warnings (v.27).
Sin corrupts more than the individual sinner. Children see what their parents do and observe their true values. When adults engage in spiritual rituals yet live without personal transformation, they transmit rebellion against God. In essence they proclaim themselves lord of their lives and teach that God’s word can be ignored. Children imbibe this model of following their own desires. As time goes on, truth vanishes, drowned out by the clamor of sinful pursuits. Oral instruction of truth and godliness finds no fertile ground in hearts hardened by selfishness.
Father, thank you for sending your Truth into the world. Thank you that your word continues to warn us of the harm sin brings to our lives. Forgive our rebellion and refusal to turn away from selfish desires. Give us strength to truly repent. Teach us to embrace truth and live holy lives of integrity. May our children and those we encounter see in us your Son who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.