The Lord gave me another message. He said, “Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness.
In those days Israel was holy to the Lord, the first of his children. All who harmed his people were declared guilty, and disaster fell on them. I, the Lord, have spoken!”
Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness—a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’
“And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols.”
We appreciate a friend who remains true to his or her commitment, and we are disappointed with someone who fails to keep a promise. God was pleased when his people obeyed initially, but he became angry with them when they refused to keep their commitment to him and instead turned to idols.
The united nation of Israel included both the “families of Israel” and the “people of Jacob” (Judah) (2:4). Jeremiah knew Israel’s history well. The prophets recited history to the people for several reasons: (1) to remind them of God’s faithfulness; (2) to make sure the people wouldn’t forget; (3) to emphasize God’s love for them; and (4) to remind the people that there was a time when they were close to God.
Idols distracted the people of Israel and Judah from God. Temptations can distract us from God. As a preventive measure, consider a time of prayer each morning. Ask God to take charge of your day and help you overcome any temptations you might face each day.