Why Was Jerusalem Destroyed?

Consider these words of God concerning the people of that city:

Who can I speak to and give such a warning that they will listen? . . . they cannot pay attention.
See the Word of the Lord has become contemptible to them—they can find no pleasure in it.

Jeremiah 6:10 (HCSB)

When a nation gets to that point—when God says there is no one to whom to appeal; when no one will listen to Him; when no one takes pleasure in the Word, then—you know that disaster is just around the corner, as it was in the case of Jerusalem!

Less and less people in our country are listening to God’s words in the Bible; His law is spurned, His Word is despised, and His is truth rejected. So, He has become a cipher in their lives. The warning more and more becomes appropriate to us as a nation. How close we are to disaster no one knows. But that is a question that fewer and fewer contemplate, or are willing to consider. More and more, like the Jews long ago, we trust in our “horses and chariots;” we are willing to believe we are invulnerable.

The falsity of that trust is apparent to all who read the Bible. But the trouble is that people no longer do so; they do not enjoy it. They find no pleasure in studying it. Indeed, to some it has become detestable; to many others it is simply dull and uninteresting. Whatever the reason—whether people are too busy with earning money, too absorbed in pleasure, entertainment and sports, or whatever—they simply don’t think God’s Word is worthwhile them taking the time to study and learn. As a result, they are ignorant of its warnings; know little or nothing of its encouragements, and are oblivious of God’s grace. Why? Because the study of the Scriptures for them, as for the Jews, has become boring or even contemptible, and they take no pleasure in it.

This condition in a nation is surely the recipe for its devastation, and unless we change our ways as the highly privileged people that we have been, we are due for it. When? I don’t know—God is gracious and slow to anger. Surely He has for long put up with our indifference and contempt. But we should not presume upon His grace. The biblical warnings of Jeremiah are precisely what we need to hear. But who will read and take them to heart? How many can? Are there any reading this message who will turn off the TV for a few nights and read through the book of Jeremiah? I am praying some will. But who knows—the law of God may have become so foreign to them, that it is something in which they no longer know how to find pleasure.

Trusting Jesus as the One Who died for all who will believe that He suffered punishment in their place and rose from the dead, alone makes the Scriptures a pleasure to read. Yet, even believers have become complacent about their study of the Word. How about you—do you discover the Bible a pleasure, or dull, or contemptible? The answer to that question may be the answer to whether we—or our children—will have the boiling cauldron tiled toward us [if this last statement is unintelligible to you, I suggest that you start reading Jeremiah right away!].


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