Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD. (Jeremiah 7:11)
Does God issue any commands?
- God told Jeremiah to stand in the Temple gate and preach the word of the LORD to all of Judah that entered there, telling them to listen to what God had to say! (It was a message of peace if they would repent!)
- God commanded the people through Jeremiah to amend their worship. He desired real worship and not just attendance to the Temple ceremonies. They had made the Temple one of their idols! True worship would show in the ways they dealt with their neighbors, how they cared for strangers and widows, and in the turning away from their idols.
- God told Jeremiah to stop making intercessory prayer and sacrifices for the nation of Judah. (7:16, 21)
- At the end of the sermon Jeremiah was to preach at the gate of the Temple he was to remind them that God had sent prophets since the time of the Exodus to exhort the people to worship the LORD with pure hearts but theirs was a nation that obeyed not the LORD.
- God told Jerusalem to "cut off her hair," a symbolic reference to the command in Numbers chapter 5 for an unfaithful wife to have her head uncovered and for a slave woman who is to be married to the captor to have her head shaved. Since hair is the woman's crown of glory it is a sign of jealousy and humility for the woman to forcibly have her hair taken from her in such a way. God was stating that Jerusalem had been unfaithful to Him and that they should be ashamed. (7:29)
Does God make any promises?
- God promised that if they would truly worship Him those individuals would live forever in the land given to their fathers.
- God promised that He would destroy Solomon's Temple just as He had destroyed Shiloh in the days of Eli.
- God promised to cast those of Judah out of His sight just as He had done to the northern kingdom of Israel.
- Even the graves of the kings, priests, royal family, and prophets would be desecrated in Judah at the time of the siege. (8:1-3)
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Jesus also stood in the Temple and in the synagogue and preached the Word of God those who came to Jerusalem to "worship" God, warning them of the consequences of worshiping in ritual and not with hearts full of love for God.
- The way the that the people were sinning openly and then appearing in the Temple to go through the ritual of making sacrifices to God with the belief that as long as they were following the rituals they were absolved of any guilt made God declare that His people had made His House a den of thieves. Jesus quoted this passage and referred to these practices when He overthrew the tables of the Temple money changers and told the people that their worship ritual was faulty.
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- The land was given to the Jews forever. It will be their land forever.
- The people would try to hide themselves in graves and caves in order to hide from the ones that pursued them. They would try to kill themselves instead of face their captors. Rev.9:6 describes just such a scenario during the time of great Tribulation.