I hear a lot of times how dumb and stupid Israel was in their day. After all, the Great I AM led them through a desert with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. After reading the scriptures I realize we are no different than Israel.
We make excuses for our sins or why we don’t want to do what YHVH tells us to in his word. We blame others for not teaching us right. We say God understands us. He knows we’re made of flesh and everyone falls short so it’s not really our fault. He knows we have anger issues. It’s not our fault. He is the one who made us this way or that way so he understands why we do what we do.
But does he? Does the creator of the heavens and earth really understand why we refuse to obey him? Does he really care if we do what his word says or not? Do we even matter that much too him that he should pay us any attention?
Israel thought they could do whatever they wanted and their Elohim would be alright with it. They whored around. They abandoned him. They chose to do their own thing without any regards to what he said. Yet, when things got bad they ran to him for help. They cried out to him as if it was his duty to grant them their wishes, especially since they were his chosen ones. They were his beloved, his firstfruits.
YHVH Does NOT Understand
Unfortunately for Israel, YHVH didn’t see things the same way they did. He sent Jeremiah to speak to the house of Israel what thus says YHVH. YHVH recounts their love for him in the beginning of Jeremiah 2. He goes on to talk about how they abandoned him and went after their own ways and after other gods. Yet, in the midst of all of this they had the boldness to turn to him for help.
In Jeremiah 2-3:5 there is no understanding on YHVH’s part for Israel’s disobedient, even though they were his chosen ones. He didn’t understand them and he doesn’t understand us when we sin against him and make excuses as to why we did what we did. He is a holy Elohim, who requires us to live a holy life before him. His goal is to always give us the best. However, we force him to do otherwise when we go our own way or when we make up our own rules to follow and dismiss his rules.
After all, he understands what we really mean. He knows our hearts. He knows what we meant to do. He understands we’ve been doing it this way for 10 years. This is the way the world works and we must do what the world do if we are to stay ahead of the game. Besides, he knows we love him.
Understand What You Have Done
Just like Israel hurt him through their disobedience and betrayal, we do the same thing to him. Israel turned to other gods made by their own hands, turning their backs on the true and living Elohim. We say we have never done that, but haven’t we? We put our material things before all the time – our jobs, our TV, our internet, our cars and the list goes on. All of these things we have acquired by our hands, forgetting it was him who gave us the power to create wealth.
We don’t spend any time with him, except maybe on Saturday or Sunday with everyone else. Otherwise, we’re too busy with “life” to be bothered with him. That is, until something bad happens. Then we got all the time in the world to talk to him, expecting him to hear us. We don’t take time out to find out if our actions are causing his heart to ache. Or if there is something he wants us to do specifically that day. Or if he just wants us to listen to something he has to say.
For all of us who think our ways our better than YHVH’s ways, this is what he has to say about understanding us in our sins and lack of time with him.
The word of YHVH came to me: Go and shout in the ears of Yerushalayim that this is what YHVH says: “I remember your devotion when you were young; how, as a bride, you loved me; how you followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.
“Israel is set aside for YHVH, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devour him will incur guilt; evil will befall them,” says YHVH.
Hear the word of YHVH, house of Ya’akov and all families in the house of Israel; here is what YHVH says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me to make them go so far away from me, to make them go after nothings (worthless things) and become themselves nothings (worthless things)? They didn’t ask, ‘Where is YHVH, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, who led us through the desert, through a land of wastes and ravines, through a land of drought and death-dark shadows, through a land where no one travels and where no one ever lived?’
“I brought you into a fertile land to enjoy its fruit and all its good things; but when you entered, you defiled my land and made my heritage loathsome. The cohanim (priest) didn’t ask, ‘Where is YHVH?’ Those who deal with the Torah did not know me, the people’s shepherds rebelled against me; the prophets prophesied by Ba’al and went after things of no value.
“So again I state my case against you,” says YHVH, “and state it against your grandchildren too. Cross to the coasts of the Kitti’im and look; send to Kedar and observe closely; see if anything like this has happened before: has a nation ever exchanged its gods (and theirs are not gods at all!)? Yet my people have exchanged their Glory for something without value. Be aghast at this, you heavens! Shudder in absolute horror!” says YHVH.
“For my people have committed two evils: they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water!
“Is Israel a slave, born into serfdom? If not, why has he become plunder? The young lions are roaring at him – how loudly they are roaring! They desolate his country, demolishing and depopulating his cities. The people of Nof and Tachpanches feed on the crown of your head.
“Haven’t you brought this on yourself by abandoning YHVH your God when he led you along the way? If you go to Egypt, what’s in it for you? Drinking water from the Nile? If you go to Ashur, what’s in it for you? Drinking water from the [Euphrates] River? Your own wickedness will correct you, your own backslidings will convict you; you will know and see how bad and bitter it was to abandon YHVH your God, and how fear of me is not in you,” says Adonai YHVH-Tzva’ot.
“For long ago I broke your yoke; when I snapped your chains, you said, ‘I won’t sin.’ Yet on every high hill, under every green tree, you sprawled and prostituted yourself. But I planted you as a choice vine of seed fully tested and true. How did you degenerate into a wild vine for me? Even if you scrub yourself with soda and plenty of soap, the stain of your guilt is still there before me,” says Adonai YHVH.
“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not pursued the ba’alim’? Look at your conduct in the valley, understand what you have done. You are a restive young female camel, running here and there, wild, accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her lust – who can control her when she’s in heat? Males seeking her need not weary themselves, for at mating season they will find her.
“Stop before your shoes wear out, and your throat is dry from thirst! But you say, ‘No, it’s hopeless! I love these strangers, and I’m going after them.’ Just as a thief is ashamed when caught, so is the house of Israel ashamed – they, their kings, their leaders, their cohanim (priest) and their prophets, who say to a log, ‘You are my father,’ and to a stone, ‘You gave us birth.’ For they have turned their backs to me instead of their faces. But when trouble comes, they will plead, ‘Rouse yourself and save us!’
“Where are your gods that you made for yourselves? Let them rouse themselves, if they can save you when trouble comes. Y’hudah, you have as many gods as you have cities! Why argue with me? You have all rebelled against me!” says YHVH.
“In vain have I struck down your people. They would not receive correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a marauding lion. You of this generation, look at the word of YHVH: “Have I been a desert to Israel? or a land of oppressive darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We’re free to roam, we will no longer come to you’? Does a girl forget her jewellery, or a bride her wedding sash? Yet my people have forgotten me, days beyond numbering. You are so clever in your search for love that the worst of women can learn from you!
“Right there on your clothing is the blood of the innocent poor, although you never caught them breaking and entering. Yet concerning all these things, you say, ‘I am innocent; surely he’s no longer angry at me.’ Here, I am passing sentence on you, because you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong.’ You cheapen yourself when you change course so often – you will be disappointed by Egypt too, just as you were disappointed by Ashur. Yes, you will leave him too, with your hands on your heads [in shame]. For YHVH rejects those in whom you trust; from them you will gain nothing.” (Jeremiah 2 CJB)
[YHVH] says: “If a man divorces his wife, and she leaves him and marries another man, then if the first one marries her again, that land will be completely defiled. But you prostituted yourself to many lovers, yet you want to return to me?” says YHVH.
“Raise your eyes to the bare hills, take a look: where have you not had sex? You sat by the roadsides waiting for them like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. For this reason the showers have been withheld, there has been no rain in the spring; still you maintain a whore’s brazen look and refuse to be ashamed. Didn’t you just now cry to me, ‘My father, you are my friend from my youth’? [thinking,] ‘He won’t bear a grudge forever, will he? He wouldn’t maintain it right to the end.’ You say this, but you keep doing evil things, you just do whatever you want.” (Jeremiah 3:1-5 CJB)
Repent and Return to YHVH
If we continue to read the scriptures we will see that YHVH always gave Israel a chance to repent. Today, he is giving us the same opportunity. As long as we have breath in us we have an opportunity to choose good over evil, right over wrong, and life over death. We can and should choose to follow YHVH’s commands, which benefits us in our spirit, soul, and body.
Today, let us choose to follow YHVH Elohim, creator and ruler over the universe.