Worship-Part 9-Jeremiah’s Temple Gate SermonSeries: Worship
Jeremiah’s Temple Gate Sermon
1. Worshiping the awesome God is an awesome thing. It is not to be entered into lightly and without thought.
2. Our behavior must be in alignment with the seriousness of the moment. God will NOT be deceived though we may mask our worship with a deceptively attractive appearance. God is truth and those who worship Him must worship in truth.
3. There is no place for pretending, no place for self-deception, no place for the willing suspension of disbelief, no place for half-truths. “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13).
4. God demands nothing short of absolute genuineness in our relationship with Him. This is clear in His rebuke to Israel through Jeremiah.
I. Trust in the temple is no substitute for conduct that reflects genuine devotion to God (7:3-7).
A. The temple was designed as a manifestation of the presence of God among the people.
God said, “Do not trust in deceptive words, saying, ‘This is the temple of the Lord, the
temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.’”
1. Note that this assumes the Mosaic system of worship. Therefore, their worship
involved some element of that which was revealed.
2. Jeremiah was standing in the gate of the Lord’s house! People came there to worship.
3. But coming to this place and taking pride in the temple was not sufficient.
B. But there was a need for repentance because their deeds were contrary to the nature of
God and the revelation He had given (5-7).
1. This list of deeds is not exhaustive, but it defines a direction.
2. It is representative of hearts given to God.
3. This list is not a list of bare minimums to get by.
4. God’s nature cannot be reduced to a specific list of deeds. The list is enlarged in the
next verses (8-9).
5. Note that such a call to repentance reflects the graciousness of God. But at the same
time, it is a recognition that God holds men accountable.
C. God’s message through Jeremiah was like His message through John the Baptist to
the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matt. 3:7-12) and like Jesus’ message to the Jews.
1. The Pharisees and Sadducees said, “We have Abraham for our Father.” John said,
“God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
2. The Jews of John 8:39 said to Jesus, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said, “If you are
Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham.” “God is our father,” they said (v.41).
“You are of your father, the devil,” Jesus said (v. 44).
D. We do the same kind of thing today.
1. “I’ve been a member of so and so church for so many years.”
2. “I was baptized when I was 9 years old.”
3. “I was baptized by old brother so and so.”
4. “I have the ten commandments posted in my front yard.”
5. “I go to church every Sunday.”
6. “Lord, Lord, didn’t I prophesy in your name and cast out demons?”
7. “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers. I fast.
I pay tithes of all I get.”
8. “Circumcised the eight day, of the nation of Israel, tribe of Benjamin, Hebrew of
Hebrews, a Pharisee, a persecutor of the church, blameless.” “Rubbish,” says Paul
II. Their conduct reflected unfaithfulness to God and they turned the temple into a den of robbers (8-11).
A. God’s question: “Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and
offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come
and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, ‘We are
delivered!’—that you may do all these abominations?” (v. 9).
1. Do you think that you are delivered to do these abominations?
2. Despite an open breach of their covenant relationship with God they came to
“worship” at the temple.
B. They viewed the temple as if it were a den for robbers.
1. Robbers break forth from their den to steal and then return to their den for safety.
2. Then break forth again to rob again.
3. Such behavior has not escaped the eye of the Lord.
C. Jesus condemned the leaders of the temple of His day with the same crime (Matt. 21:12-
D. “The church” is not a safe place for covenant breakers. It is not a den for robbers (1 Cor.
14:23-25). When unbelievers are called into account there is a recognition of God in this
III. The offering of sacrifice and burnt offerings is not a substitute for listening and obeying the Lord (21-26).
A. In Isaiah 1:11-12 God said, “I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams. Who requires
of you this trampling of My courts?”
B. Saul explained that he had saved the best animals to sacrifice to God. Samuel said, “To
obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22). He said, “Rebellion is as the sin of
divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you rejected the
word of the Lord” (23).
C. Worship without subjection of the will is no worship at all!
D. This had gone on perpetually in Israel (Jer. 7:22-26).
E. Stephen condemned those of his day of the same (Acts 7:51-53).
F. Is the same true of us? We can expect such from the world. We can expect it from
false religionists. But let us be far from such perversion of worship! Let our behavior be
reflective of the nature of God. It must be if our worship is to be acceptable.
1. The people were attempting to use the temple as a cover for every kind of ethical and legal misdeed. It would be destroyed. See Jer. 7:12-15.
2. Jeremiah was instructed not to pray for these false worshipers (7:16ff).
3. Destruction was on the horizon (7:30-34).
4. The temple of Jeremiah’s day was destroyed. The temple of Jesus’ day was destroyed. God brings judgment on all those who reject His word, who attempt to hide behind the sacrifices of the temple, whose behavior is not aligned with His nature, whose worship is pretended.