Necessity to Repent

God was displeased with Judah because almost everyone believed as long as there was a temple in Jerusalem they could count on the favor of God no matter what they did.

The Lord commanded Jeremiah to preach a sermon in which he would instruct them otherwise. Jeremiah, by God’s inspiration, said, “Do not trust deceitful words, chanting: ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’ Instead, if you really change your ways and your actions, if you act justly toward one another, if you no longer oppress the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow and no longer shed innocent blood in this place or follow other gods, bringing harm on yourselves, I will allow you to live in this place, the land I gave to your ancestors long ago and forever,” (Jeremiah 7:4-7 HCSB).

These people had become unthinking and unfeeling in their relationship with God. They had become repetitive, heartless and unfeeling in their worship. They had taken God for granted, thinking they would always have his favor regardless of their behavior.

Instead, Jeremiah told them that if they wanted to continue their residence in the land God gave them, they would have to change their ways. They needed to stop bringing trouble and harm on themselves.

The only way people can understand the need to repent is if they know there is a need. No, the majority of Judah failed to repent; only a remnant of the nation was allowed to return after 70-years captivity. That did not stop God from requiring his preacher and prophet from asking his people to repent and turn to him.