August 9, 2015 Sunday School Commentary
Lesson Guide, Direction Urban Ministries
A Choice to Be Just
Background Text Jeremiah 7:1-15; Ezra 7:6; 21-28
Highlighted Text – Jeremiah 7:1-15
Key Verse – “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place” (Jeremiah 7:3).
In today’s lesson, the prophet Jeremiah delivers a message to the Israelites at what is believed to be the eastern gate of the temple in Jerusalem. His prophecy was given to a great crowd of people during the reign of King Jehoiakim. A hundred or so years prior to this sermon, the Northern Kingdom of Israel had fallen to the Assyrians and Jeremiah warned the Israelites that their ways would again lead to God’s judgment.
The Lord of the Temple (Jeremiah 7:1-4)
Jeremiah speaks to the people as they enter the temple for the traditional pilgrimage festivals. The Israelites had become accustomed to placing more emphasis on the physical place then the God or Lord over the temple. King Josiah, the one who reigned before this era, was convicted to to renew Judah’s covenant with God and attempted to restore worship in away acceptable to God. But Israel resorted back to their evil ways and Jeremiah pleas with them as they enter to ‘worship’ God, that their words must align with their actions.
Point to Ponder: As Christians, we must do self-reflection to make sure our actions inside of our churches reflect our actions outside of the building and throughout the week. We never know who we are creating a barrier to be evangelized.
The Longing for Change (Jeremiah 7:5-7)
God always gives an opportunity to repent and change for the better. Jeremiah lets the Israelites know that it is not too late for them to change their attitudes and actions. Not only is it the right thing to do but there are many blessings that will follow their obedience.
Point to Ponder: We might be falling short in a specific area in our Christian walk, but the good news is that God has sent a reminder and given us another opportunity to repent and change.
The Litany of Sins (Jeremiah 7:8-11)
God lets the Israelites know that he is aware of all the evil deeds they do. All the injustice acts they do to others. Jeremiah also informs them that God is not pleased how they continue to do those sinful acts while coming to the temple to worship God. This shows that they do not reverence or respect the temple and more so, do not respect the Lord of the temple.
Point to Ponder: God expects us to reverence him (ref. Proverbs 1:7). Do you show respect to God through your attitude and actions?
The Last Warning (Jeremiah 7:12-15)
During the time of the judges, Shiloh was an important place of worship for Israel. God destroyed Shiloh because of the wickedness. Jeremiah warns that God will destroy them like he did the temple at Shiloh. They have a choice to decide if their fate will be the same.
Point to Ponder: We never know when God is giving us his final warning. Therefore, every warning should be treated like it is the last.
The choice is individually ours to decide whether or not we take heed to God’s warnings. The temple is now within all of us. God can but doesn’t have to destroy places in order to execute his wrath. He can destroy us individually. We have the choice to respect God and represent him well, the choice to not make a mockery of his faith that he chose to share with us and the choice to stop being unjust and choose justice. It only takes one person to lead by example. Will you be that person?
Commentary by, Evangelist Shulanda Hastings
Senior Ministry Leader
Spirit Realm Divine Manifestation Ministries