Thursday after Cantate
Scripture: Jeremiah 8:1-13 (NKJV)
1 “At that time,” says the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. 2 They shall spread them before the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served and after which they have walked, which they have sought and which they have worshiped. They shall not be gathered nor buried; they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. 3 Then death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of those who remain of this evil family, who remain in all the places where I have driven them,” says the Lord of hosts.
4 “Moreover you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Will they fall and not rise? Will one turn away and not return?
5 Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return.
6 I listened and heard, but they do not speak aright. No man repented of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his own course, as the horse rushes into the battle.
7 “Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; And the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But My people do not know the judgment of the Lord.
8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood.
9 The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; So what wisdom do they have?
10 Therefore I will give their wives to others, and their fields to those who will inherit them; Because from the least even to the greatest everyone is given to covetousness; From the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely.
11 For they have healed the hurt of the daughter of My people slightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace.
12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; In the time of their punishment they shall be cast down,” says the Lord.
13 “I will surely consume them,” says the Lord. “No grapes shall be on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; And the things I have given them shall pass away from them.”‘”
The words of today’s reading from Jeremiah 8 teach us once again concerning the dreadful spiritual peril which comes from false teaching. The false teachers believe themselves to be wise—and there are many people who agree with them in that assessment. But the Word of the Lord condemns their lies:
“How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? Look, the false pen of the scribe certainly works falsehood. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken. Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord; So what wisdom do they have?”
From television preachers to Internet ‘bloggers,’ there is a mind-numbing cacophony of false teaching which the sinful hearts of men are eager to receive precisely because it proclaims “Peace, peace” where there is no peace. The truth isn’t defined by how many people a false teacher has in his viewing audience, or how many “likes” a Facebook post might receive. Anyone who proclaims a justification apart from faith proclaims a false peace. But for those who sorrow over their sins and who find their consolation in the Christ, such saints of God know a peace which no one can take from them, for the faith which the Lord has created and sustained in their hearts clings to Christ alone.
Prayer: O God, Who makes the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Thy people that they may love what Thou commandest and desire what Thou dost promise that among the manifold changes of this world our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Who livest and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.