Jeremiah 9:1-6 (ESV)

Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears,

that I might weep day and night

for the slain of the daughter of my people!

[2] Oh that I had in the desert

a travelers’ lodging place,

that I might leave my people

and go away from them!

For they are all adulterers,

a company of treacherous men.

[3] They bend their tongue like a bow;

falsehood and not truth has grown strong in the land;

for they proceed from evil to evil,

and they do not know me, declares the Lord.

[4] Let everyone beware of his neighbor,

and put no trust in any brother,

for every brother is a deceiver,

and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.

[5] Everyone deceives his neighbor,

and no one speaks the truth;

they have taught their tongue to speak lies;

they weary themselves committing iniquity.

[6] Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,

they refuse to know me, declares the Lord.

The sins of the people of Judah in the time and ministry of Jeremiah are well known to most Christians with even a rudimentary knowledge of the Scriptures. But there is a comment here that makes having just a rudimentary knowledge of the Scriptures a truly terrifying thing. The reason why we want to know the Scriptures better is so that we will know God better. The reason we want to know God better is because that is what grace does for us. God puts a desire in our hearts for Him.

The Scriptures are plain that it is possible for true children of God to grow cold. Other things get in the way. A thousand and one things get in the way. Read the second and third chapters of Revelation to see churches that never intended to become what they had become but Christ was so upset with them that he shut them all down. No believer plans to drift away from God and most who have done so will deny it. But it does happen.

In Jeremiah 9:1-6 Jeremiah continues to mourn the spiritual state of his people. The sins are a litany of wickedness, mostly, in these few verses in the form of sins of the tongue (Verse 3). They are liars (verse 3), untrustworthy (verse 4), deceivers(verses 4-5).

But those sins are trivial compared to the last thing that Jeremiah refers to in verse 6. “They refuse to know me, declares the Lord.” The scariness is the word “refuse”. They refuse to know God. Their sins dictate their actions. If they get to know God they cannot be deceitful any longer. Their deceit has blinded them to the glories of their God. They had ability to get to know God. They had opportunity to get to know God. They had the resources provided for them to get to know God. They had God. But they chose to do something else instead and now they are hardened in their sin and the thought of getting to know God is distasteful to them. They don’t want Him.

This is scary because it hits so close to home. Sporting events, concerts, nights out with the boys/girls, video games, computer games … The list is endless. Nothing wrong in any of these things, but there are far, far too many believers who, when given the chance to attend a Bible study, a church service, read their Bibles, listen to a sermon, download a lecture, pray … will not show the least bit interest given the choice of more entertainment, more sports, more music. They have opportunity to get to know better but they refuse.

How many resources do we have at our finger tips and how do we use them? How have we used our time? Are we growing in our knowledge of God? And this is not just a sin of the average believer. It is the sin of those entrusted to teach the people the ways of God. How many half cooked meals have been prepared for people when they needed something more nutritious? Was the spiritual indigestion that my people got afterward really all their fault? Did I refuse to know God better?

To whom much is given much is required and the 21st century North American church has been given a very great deal. How good God has been to us. How can we justify the strangeness of God to us? We are guilty of refusing to know our God.

God is very patient. He called out to the people of Judah for hundreds of years before He finally sent Babylon upon them as a judgement. It is not too late for us.

How have you used your time? What have you done with resources that God has allowed you to have that you could have used to help you grow in your knowledge of God? In what ways can it be said of you that you have refused to know Him? Turn around now and start using them for Him. The refusal to do so could result in a discipline from God. It should. If it does not then God will owe Judah an apology, for our sins are no different from theirs.