A STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH: The sin of Trusting in Treasures and Pleasures
Dr. Jerry A. Collins
God wants to counter every emblem of security we lean into because they are deficient.
PROUD TRUST IN YOUR ADVANTAGEOUS POSITION WILL FAIL YOU
Ammon was descendant of Lot the result of his incest with his two daughters (Gen 19:30-38). The Lord asked the Ammonites why they confiscated that which formerly belonged to the tribe of Gad. God declared judgment v 1-3 upon Ammon who was boastful about the valleys! ... who trusts in her treasures, saying, who will come against me? v 4. Ammon's sins were her pride in her natural and material treasures. Steep valleys surrounded remote Ammon on three sides. God promised to terrorize them with attack from all directions, the very basis of their prideful security v 5-6.
Application: It’s true that our advantages can solve a lot of problems. Therefore, you begin to think that they will solve all your problems. They can’t. But when they do, you should thank God, not assume it was your ingenuity. You could have lots of advantages and none which can solve your problem. Be wise. Use discernment. But don’t lean on your advantages to bail you out and don’t try to control the outcomes.
PROUD TRUST IN YOUR NATURAL RESOURCES WILL DECEIVE YOU
The Edomites, descendants of Jacob’s brother Esau and had a history of conflict with Judah. The people would have to flee because the Lord was going to bring disaster on them v 7-10. The Edomites, who formerly had escaped divine judgment, would certainly experience the wrath of God v 12-13. Edom had deceived herself by thinking that other nations would be too afraid of her location to attack her. But the Lord promised to bring her down like Sodom and Gomorrah and to humble her arrogance v 14-19. Hear the plan of the Lord…and His purposes…purposed against the inhabitants of Teman v 20-22
Application: People quote Jeremiah 29:11, I know the plans that I have for you ... plans for welfare and not calamity, but not Jeremiah 49:20, hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against ... Why claim a promise made to Israel (29:11) but ignore 49:20 because it’s plans against Edom? We want to believe God has good plans for us that include good things. No one wants to hear about judgment for the sin of trusting in our treasures and the sin of the arrogance in our heart.
PROUD TRUST IN YOUR EASE AND SAFEGUARDS CANNOT PROTECT YOU
Damascus had panicked and fled before an enemy v 23-24. In Amos 1:3-5 God said, I will not revoke its punishment, because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron. Syria’s armies had raked across Gilead, slicing and crushing it as though it were grain on a threshing floor. Damascus would become helpless v 24-26. Kedar v 28 was a nomadic tribe at ease ... which lives securely ... it has no gates or bars v 31. Nebuchadnezzar will attack v 30. God would bring their disaster from every side v 32. Hazor will become a desolation forever; no one will live there. It’s true—we don’t even know where it was.
Application: The people of the world were to know there is a Living God (Romans 1:18f) and come to Israel to know special revelation from God. But these Gentile nations made idols and they came against Israel. God holds unbelievers responsible for what they do with the knowledge they have—general revelation from nature; God’s special revelation revealed in His Word. The hostility of the Gentiles culminates in the rule of the Antichrist whose judged, his kingdom destroyed, just as these nations.
PROUD TRUST IN YOUR POWERFUL ABILITY WILL HUMILIATE YOU
Elam was east of Babylon in what is today the country of Iran. God said He would break the bow of Elam v 34-35. Her invaders would come from all directions, from the four ends of heaven v 36 and God shall shatter Elam before their enemies’ v 37 and scatter them to all these winds. The Lord would establish His sovereignty over Elam and would destroy its ruling dynasty v 38. But in the last days, God shall restore the fortunes of Elam, a reference to the Millennial Kingdom v 39.
Application: These pagan Gentile powers spread in all directions, conquering everything in their path. Peter says Satan is like that. In 1 Peter 4:8-10 says, your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him firm in your faith. We are in a war. Satan is after you. You must actively resist him. Satan is trying to destroy you and your faith. You are going against the flow of the worldly system run by Satan. It will be painful!! Yet God will strengthen you and bring you to maturity.
1. It is not ‘let go and let God’ but to obey and then trust God.
2. The difference between humility and pride is the knowledge that I am dependent on the Lord for the outcomes but dependent upon myself for the inputs.