Get Bac k On Tract Jer. 3:12b-17; 4:1-4 June 12, 2011
The people in the text need to look at the commands and statutes of God and recognize they need to repent and Get Back On Tract. America needs to look at the Word of God and realize we need to repent so we likewise can Get Back On Tract. Our God has always been a God of forgiveness who allows repentance. It seems a repentant lifestyle is not in style today because we don’t realize how far away from God we have wandered. I am afraid many would claim we don’t even need to make any changes. Can webe more ignorant
than people who are far away from God and don’t recognize they need to return to the old paths of righteousness?
1. Get On Track . . Admit Your Guilt. 3:12b-14
A. Admit Your Guilt and . . Accept the Lord’s Forgiveness. 3:12b-13a
12b “. . . Return, unfaithful Israel. This is the LORD’s declaration. I will not look on you with anger, for
I am unfailing in My love. This is the LORD’s declaration. I will not be angry forever. 13 Only
acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God.. . .”
B. Admit Your Guilt and . . Acknowledge the Lord’s Declaration. 3:13b-14
“. . . You have scattered your favors to strangers under every green tree and have not obeyed My voice.
This is the LORD’s declaration 14 “Return, you faithless children”—this is the LORD’s declaration—“for I
am your master, and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
When people get back on tract they must first admit they were off tract. Sometimes that is the hardest part for people to acknowledge. For Israel in the text this should not be that difficult as they evaluate the past with the present. That is likewise true for America today. When we evaluate our sin and realize the Lord allows forgiveness ir should motive the guilty to repent. God’s Word makes it clear He will forgive . He promised to bring Israel to Zion after there wondering away. He will do similarly for us.
2. Get On Track . . Accept God’s Blessings. 3:15-17
A. Accept God Blessings Through His . . Faithful Shepherds. 3:15
15 I will give you shepherds who are loyal to Me, and they will shepherd you with knowledge and skill.
B. Accept God Blessings Through His . . Foretelling Shepherds. 3:16-17
16 When you multiply and increase in the land, in those days”—the LORD’s declaration—“no one will say any longer, ‘The ark of the LORD’s covenant.’ It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. It will never again be made. 17 At that time Jerusalem will be called, Yahweh’s Throne, and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh in Jerusalem. They will cease to follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.
God always conveys His message through His Messengers. In the text they are called Shepherds who He gave knowledge and skill. This Shepherds will be fore-tellers as they will receive the prophetic message from the Lord and pass it on to the people. God’ messengers really do bring forth a clear message with promises that always come true. When this happens the people will cease to follow the stubbornness of their own hearts as they receive the message from God through His Shepherds.
3. Get On Track . . Allow Repentance and Avoid the Lord’s Judgement. 4:1-4
A. Allow Repentance . . Remove Idols. 4:1–2
1 If you return, Israel— this is? the LORD’s declaration— you will return to Me, if you remove your
detestable idols from My presence and do not waver, 2 then you can swear, “As the LORD lives,” in truth,
in justice, and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by Him and will pride themselves in Him.
B. Allow Repentance . . Reinstate Heart Felt Worship. 4:3-4
3 For this is what the LORD says to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up the unplowed ground; do
not sow among the thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, men
of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. Otherwise, My wrath will break out like fire and burn with no one to
extinguish it because of your evil deeds.
One of the big evidences that the people in the text have received God’s message comes when they remove their idols that they had placed before God. It is amazing how people can make something and then bow down to worship it. They like we should realize that no human can make an idol greater than the human who makes it. All idols are smaller than we humans and certainly not larger than God but inferior to Him. If idols somehow take an active place in a persons life; real worship will be hindered or replaced all together. Today people think they do not get involved with idols because they don’t have the forms used in Old Testament times. Today idol worshipers use a more advanced form but they are just as harmful and take people away from real worship and people today need to Get Bac k On Tract. Amen? Amen!