Focal Passages: Jeremiah 8:4-13, 18-9:1
Christians sometimes know they are guilty of sin, but don’t want to admit it. However, we can become so calloused toward sin that we don’t realize what we’ve done and don’t avail ourselves of the Word of God, prayer, and other channels of the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Although David should have seen his relationship with Bathsheba as adultery, he was blinded by an ongoing whirlwind of sin. This dullness remained until he was confronted by the story about a stolen lamb to declare the bone-chilling words, “You are the man” (2 Samuel 12:7).
In Jeremiah’s day the spiritual leaders of Israel claimed to uphold the Word of God, yet God revealed they had less discernment than animals. God declared that He would take their wives and their land because even the prophets and priests were greedy and deceitful. The only healing they offered was the declaration of a peace that did not exist. Jeremiah grieved the people’s lack of shame and inability to blush. They embraced the law of God in theory, but rejected its proper application. In the 20th century, liberalism crept into the Southern Baptist Convention through theological double speak. Liberal scholars taught students to use the same Bible but greatly alter their interpretation. Consequently, bad theology led to bad practice. Many Baptists began to use the same vocabulary but a different dictionary.
Chuck Swindoll tells the story of a teacher who wrote the words “ignorance” and “apathy” on the chalkboard. Afterward one student asked his friend, “A-path-y? What’s a-path-y?” His friend replied, “I don’t know. Who cares?” Ignorance and apathy often appear like two peas in the same rotten pod. If we don’t realize we’re dishonoring God, we’re not going to care about the consequences. When God shines the light of His Word on the darkness of our sin, how can we not share Jeremiah’s broken heart over sin and its devastation? As people who have been transformed by the blood of Jesus and the life-giving power of the Spirit, let us pursue biblical knowledge and true repentance!