Jeremiah (Notes on Chapter 7)

False security is always a problem for all people everywhere. The first portion of C-7 makes this very clear (7:1-7). As the people of Judah looked about them and saw the surrounding communities/governments falling, they would look back toward Jerusalem and see the Temple. “Surely,” they thought, “with the Temple in Jerusalem the Lord won’t allow an invading army to come in and desecrate His holy place.” Jeremiah lets them know that the Lord is not bound by any opinions of such sort. In fact, such empty thinking was a false security (7:8-15). False security allows people to think they can do as they want. The Lord’s perceived “physical” presence (in the Temple), the people thought, will overlook such egregious behavior. The Lord reminds them that with such thinking all they had to do was to look into their history and note that once Shiloh stood as the sacred center for the whole nation, but it too met its destruction because of sin (cf. Joshua 18; 1 Samuel 4:12-18). So disgusted was the Lord by their incessant behavior the Lord told Jeremiah that He will hear no prayer coming from the lips of Jeremiah concerning them (7:16-20). The people of that day (not unlike the peoples of other days) looked upon their religion as a formal matter; the Lord reminded them that it was not the sacrifices (form) the Lord commanded that was preeminent, but the heart’s walk in obedience to His will. If the latter was in place, the former would have taken care of itself (7:21-27). His disgust, therefore, was going to be brought on them in a violent sort of way (7:28-34).