Vs. 2, “Stand at the gate of the LORD’s house and there proclaim this message: ‘Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the LORD.” Three times a year, the Jewish men were required to go up to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. Jeremiah would take this opportunity to preach the Word of the Lord. God’s people were putting their trust in other God’s. They assumed the Temple of God would never be able to be destroyed, so they took God for granted. Instead of the Temple helping them to be holy, they were making the Temple an unholy place. Jeremiah would try to remind them of God’s past judgments on His people (vs. 12-15), but they still would not listen. God would go so far as to instruct Jeremiah not to pray for them anymore (vs. 16). Their empty sacrifices show us that God does not just want the outward action…it starts with the heart & shows itself with action (fruit).
Regarding application…Obedience. Vs. 23, “but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you.” Obedience comes with a promise. As children, we might have obeyed our parents because we got rewarded for it. If we cleaned our room, we could have that toy we had been wanting for so long. Yet, God’s promise comes with a far greater gift! When we trust & obey the Lord; it brings glory to Him, reward to us both on earth & in Heaven, & encouragement for others! It’s truly a win-win situation. Obedience starts with the small things…we show God that we can be responsible with QT’s, prayer, service…and God will take that obedience and fling wide the doors of possibilities: Mission opportunities, Seminary opportunities, serving God’s church as a lay leader, bringing people to Christ @ work & your neighborhood! But it all starts with doing the everyday obedience. Don’t do it because you have to…do it because His love compels us to!