“Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh(v.14)”. Against this let us consider what God promised King Solomon when he visited second time.”And the Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever…. (1 Ki.9:2-5-ESV)”, Because of the many transgressions of Israel God did unto it as now Jeremiah warns his countrymen. This house made with hands shall always be as good as the name of man who builds it. The Temple of Solomon sounds impressive as of Herod. But what went on as worship in His sight was least acceptable. When Jesus drove away the money changers from within the premises, his anger was such he called it ‘a den of robbers’. Gospel of St Matthew quotes (21:13) more or less the words of the prophet,” 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 (v.11)”, Even a temple built by King Solomon is not proof against priests desecrating it. Den of robbers are made of mega churches when ministers of God today peddles prosperity theology. They fashion their service and deliver sermons to bilk their congregation to donate generously for some humanitarian cause in the third world and divert their collection mostly to their offshore accounts. They falsify truth in God’s name and extract charity of their audience under false pretenses. They also defraud IRS. In continuing such robbery with impunity their conscience must be impervious to the fear of God. Is it not? Then as now. Holding truth in unrighteousness shall never save the House of God even though He put ‘his name there forever.’ Second Temple was destroyed by Imperial Rome in 70 AD. Modern Israel by sheer force of habit of their race use the wall remaining and pray fervently. Have they felt shame because God in such compelling fashion desecrated the outward worship and understood why? God desires circumcision of their hearts rather. When God has abandoned their temple worship as He did with Shiloh all that remains is the Wailing wall.
“‘For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God (He.3:4). God’s promise to Abraham (Ge.12:3) is valid as the Maker of heaven and the earth. It was through Abraham signifying that every individual worshiping God does so is an entity or a soul, in the sense the term soul has been used in the Bible. “know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?(1 Co.6:19)” What is pertinent here is a name. It has a spiritual meaning. God has intended it so as He promised King Solomon. He expects a reasonable service from all those who appreciate promises of God ‘You are not your own’ In a world given to competitive spirit we have seen bold initiative and innovation driving man and where he has taken the world to? When God tells you ‘you are not your own greed of man has merely caused havoc ,-and the Great Depression and great many that have followed it prove the selfishness of man shall not rest till he has brought everything else to ruin. It is a temple of God but in his greed he has made it a den of robber. Jeremiah’s words are relevant:“ For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men./27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich./28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.29 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? (Je.5:26-29).
God setting His name so ‘You are not your own’ throws up the term of intercession more significantly than it seems to convey from a casual reading. One is to read with sense but wrest the truth by the indwelling Spirit. Aaron and Miriam revolted against God. As a result his elder sister was stricken with leprosy. “ So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!(Nu.12:11-13-NIV)” Sin of Aaron was same as Miriam but God in punishing her brings out the necessity of intercession. Aaron was directly appointed by God to be the spokesman of Moses. He was in service but Miriam had no inkling of their relative standings in the sight of God. Would we charge God of partiality? Only God knows the hearts of men. St Paul throws light on this “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another(Gal.5:13)”. So my freedom should not be a stumbling block for another. Collateral damage of sin flows out of each ever widening the ripple. So when White Evangelicalism preaches segregation it shall slay the weaker brethren and Dylann Roof, guilty of the Pennsylvania church shootings in 2017 was as guilty as those who put up a stumbling block. It is how God shall judge on those who bear his Name. Jeremiah in v.31 similarly delineates the trail of sin visiting upon sons and daughters. How many of us are similarly guilty of sacrificing our own flesh upon the altar of greed? “And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart”.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
2 Stand in the gate of the Lord‘s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.
3 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.
4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.
5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour;
6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt:
7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.
9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not;
10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
11 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.
12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.
13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the Lord, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;
14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.
15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I have cast out all your brethren, even the whole seed of Ephraim.
16 Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.
17 Seest thou not what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
18 The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger.
19 Do they provoke me to anger? saith the Lord: do they not provoke themselves to the confusion of their own faces?
20 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
21 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh.
22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.
25 Since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you all my servants the prophets, daily rising up early and sending them:
26 Yet they hearkened not unto me, nor inclined their ear, but hardened their neck: they did worse than their fathers.
27 Therefore thou shalt speak all these words unto them; but they will not hearken to thee: thou shalt also call unto them; but they will not answer thee.
28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a nation that obeyeth not the voice of the Lord their God, nor receiveth correction: truth is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.
29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.
30 For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it.
31 And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my heart.
32 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be called Tophet, nor the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of slaughter: for they shall bury in Tophet, till there be no place.
33 And the carcases of this people shall be meat for the fowls of the heaven, and for the beasts of the earth; and none shall fray them away.
34 Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.