#432 – An Appalling and Horrible Thing (Jeremiah 5:30–31) - Radical

#432 – An Appalling and Horrible Thing (Jeremiah 5:30–31)

“An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priests rule at their direction. My people love to have it so. But what will you do when the end comes?”
(Jeremiah 5:30-31)


What a disastrous picture Jeremiah paints. God paints through the prophet Jeremiah here in Jeremiah chapter 5. What is an appalling and horrible thing among God’s people? When prophets prophesy falsely, when leaders don’t speak God’s word truly. When priests rule at their direction. When leaders do what they think is best instead of what God has said is best.

It is possible for leaders in the church not to speak the Word of God and for people to love it. God, keep us from this. May we be led by Your Word.

So you’ve got leaders speaking falsely, not proclaiming the truth of God, and leaders not leading according to the ways and the will of God, and then third, “My people love it so.” Oh that is so frightening that it’s possible. So just kind of translate it into church picture today. It’s possible for leaders in the church to not speak the word of God, instead to speak the words of man, what we think is best. To lead, leaders to lead according to their own direction, not according to God’s word, and people to love it. Like the crowds to be drawn. The crowds to grow. And people to love it, enjoy it.

And the danger is, we can think that’s church. That’s honoring to God. When it is appalling and horrible before God. So we’ve got to make sure … Just think about your church. Think about the church I’m a part of. Is the word of God being proclaimed? Like, truly, totally proclaimed. We’ve got to ask this. Is the word of God directing, guiding everything the church is doing? Are pastors and leaders in the church leading according to the word of God, the will of God. Not according to their own ways, not according to the newest trends, not according to the newest fads. But is it clearly lining up, what we’re doing, is it lining up with the word of God?

I just read recently a book by my friend Francis Chan who just kind of opens up the Bible, and he just says, “what does the Bible say about the church?” We’ve got to make sure that the Bible is directing how we do church, because there’s a lot of things we do in the church that are not in the Bible. So why are we giving so much of our time and attention to things that are not in the Bible, instead of giving out time and attention to that which is in the Bible. So, leaders in the church, to what extent are, in your church is, is the Bible being taught and are leaders saying, “We’re just going to do whatever the Bible says, we’re going to do it.” And lets not be people who love it when people give us something other than God’s word or lead the church according to the newest fads, trends, what we think is best.

Oh, God, help us. Oh, God, please help us. May this appalling and horrible thing not be so among us. Not be so in me, oh God, as a leader in your church. I pray, I pray that you help me speak your word truly. Help me to lead according to your direction. Please, oh, God, help me in that way. Even if people would love for me to lead in other ways, God, help me to lead according to your direction. Your word. I pray that for me, for other pastors in the church I’m a part of, for other pastors in other churches, God.

For all of us together, we pray, we pray, oh, God, that this commentary would not be the commentary on our day. I fear that it’s in so many ways the commentary on our day. God, please, may it not be so. Help us to realize how appalling horrible it is when your word is not proclaimed truthfully. When your people are not led according to your word alone. God, please, help us to love your word. Help us to love following your direction. God, may that be the commentary on our churches we pray, in Jesus’s name. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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