“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed, Nor did they know how to blush …” (Jeremiah 8:12)
It was with one of our three children who shall remain anonymous that when they had done something wrong all I had to do was to tell them “I am so disappointed in you” and the head would bow, the tears and sniffles would flow followed by “I’m so sorry daddy.”
It is one thing to do something wrong. It is something else to be proud of the sin committed. But what about when you just don’t feel any sense of shame or remorse? Can we reach a point where we simply become unashamed of what we are doing or of the choices that we make in life? Unfortunately, we can and it seems that more and more in our society in general, but in the church specific we are seeing a softening of moral values and practices.
The prophet Jeremiah known by Bible students as the “weeping prophet” served the Lord and his body of work spanned some five decades of time and space (627 BC to a few years past 586 BC). He loved the Lord … he loved the Lord’s people … and he loved the word of God which he would boldly proclaim throughout his life!
In the text cited above, the people had become calloused in their sins, so little interested in what God had to really say or require. As they boasted of their possession of the Temple, so they would also of possessing of the divine Law! What they failed to understand is exactly what society and even many who claim to be children of God fail to understand. Namely, possessing the Scriptures isn’t the same as practicing the Scriptures!
There is no doubt that the forces of evil are waging an all-out war against righteous living, righteous ways, and righteous truths that come from God! The culture around us is in full decay mode and if we are not careful, we will get caught by its menacing tentacles.
How sad it is to see those who wear the name of Christ see nothing wrong with habits, practices, entertainment, style of dress that only a few years ago were almost uniformly (not traditionally) condemned and considered of the world! Satan is quite the salesman and he continues to ‘close the deal’ at an alarming rate.
Those in Jeremiah’s day lost their spiritual sensitivity. Pride had raised its ugly head in their hearts and it showed in the daily lives. It is no different today in the 21st century!
When we choose to graze in the pastures on the other side of God’s boundaries … we’ll be fed alright. It might be tasty and provide much pleasure and satisfaction, but make no mistake about it … it will be anything but healthy or soul-satisfying! The abiding danger to be found in sin (that which misses the mark and the target God has set) is that it always promises so much more than it can ever deliver!
Much could be said about the value of a tender and sensitive conscience in contrast to the hardened and unteachable conscience so often displayed in our world. One must always remember that the conscience is the depository of what has been taught and just cannot always be an altogether safe guide!
When our conscience, our heart, our will and our minds have been taught from the pastures of God’s Word … when we start getting too close to something that can be harmful to our lives and to our souls … our conscience will protest! We cannot afford to lose our sense of shame, embarrassment and outright abhorrence of that which this ungodly world we live in tells us is ok!
We must learn to listen to it remembering the words of the apostle Paul recorded in 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from every form of evil.”
Bill Fairchild, Jr.