The Book of JEREMIAH
James J. Barker
WHY IS THIS PEOPLE SLIDDEN BACK?
chapter 8 continues Jeremiah's message preached in the temple gate (cf. 7:1, 2).
- The words, "At
that time" (8:1) connect the prophecies with the judgments described at the end
of chapter 7 (cf. 7:32, 33).
- The day would
come when the valley of Hinnom would become a cemetery, and the invading
Babylonian soldiers would plunder the graves and tombs
- The valley of
Hinnom (Gehenna in the New Testament, translated as "hell" in our English
Bible) became a filthy garbage dump, with the bodies of the dead Israelites
spread out like dung (8:2).
- What a horrible
picture of judgment! The
Babylonians would do it, but it was the judgment of God (cf. Ezek.
- The theme of
Jeremiah 8 is the same as all the other chapters: judgment (cf. 8:13-17).
- Verse 5 poses
an interesting question: "Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a
- Oftentimes we
pastors ask the same question about certain church
THEY ENGAGED IN ABOMINABLE
- Notice the
repetition in verse 2 -- "whom they have loved, and whom they have
served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have
sought, and whom they have worshipped..."
- Jeremiah is
referring to astral worship -- the worship of the sun, and the moon, and the
stars (8:2a). In the middle-east,
worship of the heavens (i.e. the sun, the moon, and the stars) was very
- Usually, the
moon was worshipped as the chief of the pantheon (like Zeus was to the Greeks),
and the sun was his wife. The name
for the moon god in Canaan and the surrounding lands was Baal, and in Babylon,
his name was Bel.
- We find this
pagan worship condemned in the Bible many times (cf. Deuteronomy 4:19, 17:3; II
Kings 21:3-6; 23:5; Jeremiah 8:2).
and historians have shown us that the moon was usually worshipped in its
crescent phase. That is why the
crescent and star is the symbol for Islam.
Muhammad took the old pagan astral religion of the Arabians at Mecca,
kept all of their rituals, and claimed Allah the god who commissioned him to
start this new religion.
- This judgment
would be so horrible that the "residue" who survived would prefer to die (Jer.
8:2, 3). This reminds us of
the prophecy in Revelation 9:6, "And in those days shall men seek death, and
shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from
THEY REFUSED TO REPENT (8:5, 6).
- This is a theme
that runs through the entire book of Jeremiah. Rather than be contrite and repentant,
they said, "What have I done?" (8:6).
- "Every one
turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into battle”
- Migrating birds
-- the stork and the turtledove and the crane and the swallow -- they know what
they should do, but obstinate and spiritually blind sinners "know not the
judgment of the LORD" (8:7).
- They were
deceived and deluded. They
considered themselves wise, and thought they knew the law of the LORD
(8:8). In fact, they had "rejected
the word of the LORD" (8:9).
- "The pen of the
scribes is in vain" (useless) because the people would not submit to the
authority of God's Word (8:8, 9).
- In punishment,
God was going to give their wives and their fields to others (8:10; cf.
6:12). This was very painful for
Jeremiah to preach, and so he wept over it (9:1).
- The people
rejected Jeremiah, but they loved to follow the false prophets, who preached
"peace, peace; when there is no peace" (8:11; cf. 6:14).
- The religious
leaders were just as covetous as the people, and they were guilty of dealing
- Throughout the
book of Jeremiah, the LORD stressed that these false preachers were liars and
deceivers (14:14; 23:21; 29:9, 31).
- Things have not changed much. Today false prophets are a plague upon
America -- Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyers, Joel Osteen, Rick Warren. et al.
- And not just America, because these false prophets
spread their error all over the world.
THEY HAD REACHED THE POINT OF NO
- The day of
God’s patience with them as a nation had come to an end, and all hope was now in
- On the upper
Niagara River, on the border between Canada and the United States, there are
signs marked "point of no return." Going beyond that point means most likely
going over Niagara Falls. Over the
years, a few people have ignored the warnings and have gone past the "point of
- The same thing
happens in the spiritual realm (cf. 7:15, 16).
- The people in
Jeremiah's day "committed abomination," but were not at all ashamed
- That sounds
like America in 2012!
- Warren Wiersbe
says the latter half of Jeremiah 8 "blend three voices: God's voice of judgment,
the people's voice of despair, and the prophet's voice of anguish as he
contemplated the ruin of a once-great nation" (The Bible Exposition
- God's voice of
judgment (8:13, 17, 19).
- The people's
voice of despair (8:14, 15, 20).
- The prophet's
voice of anguish (8:18, 21).
Jeremiah 8:22, J. Vernon McGee said, "God had made adequate provision, but they
refused the remedy" (Thru the Bible).
- And so it is
today. For example, the godless
media keep saying that voters do not care about moral issues, just the
- But as long as
America continues to reject the Word of God, things will just get worse and
worse -- including the economy!