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Pastor Shane Ham : How Sin Replaces God

What's Inside · 40:06 · Recorded August 7, 2022

How Sin Replaces God

Jeremiah 2:1-8, 12-13, 19-20, 23-25, 27-28, 32 (NIV84) The word of the Lord came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the Lord, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’” declares the Lord. Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’ I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror,” declares the Lord. “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water… Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. “…Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute… consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ …They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah… Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”

The dynamics of spiritual attraction

There is an attraction going on at the spiritual level.

Jeremiah 2:23-24 (NIV84) “…You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.”

God says, “If you’re not in my arms, you’re in the arms of something else.”

The dynamics of spiritual addiction

1. Something gets promoted higher than it should be.

Jeremiah 2:27 (NIV84) “They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’…”

2. You get repetitively drawn to that thing.

Jeremiah 2:25 (NIV84) “Do not run until your feet are bare and your throat is dry. …”

3. You find that you must have it.

Jeremiah 2:25 (NIV84) “…But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’ …”

Jeremiah 2:27 (NIV84) “…They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble!…”

The dynamics of spiritual restoration

Ask the right questions.

Personalize your view of sin.

Remember whose heart you’re breaking!

Remember grace.

Jeremiah 2:5-6 (NIV84) “This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’”

Make spiritually real what Jesus has done for you.

Look in the mirror.

Jeremiah 2:32 (NIV84) “Does a maiden forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.”

Talk It Over
  • Shane’s first section had a bit of shock to it. Does knowing what the words clearly say in Hebrew affect how you read this passage and understand God’s anger at us going into “something else’s arms”?

  • In the points about spiritual addiction, which of these is most typical of where you figure out what you’re doing? Are you able to identify it at #1? #2? Or does it get all the way to #3 before you recognize what you’ve allowed to happen? What can you do to identify it earlier?

  • God is so faithful! Even in this difficult and painful passage, he seeks restoration with us! In your quiet time this week, pray over each of these points and ask God to help you in each area. Seek the discernment of the Holy Spirit in asking questions, find new and clear ways of personalizing your view of sin, etc.

  • Continue to keep the question, “How big is your God?” in front of you as we go through this series. This week, review the Jeremiah passage and ask that question throughout – “How big is a God who saved his people and led them through the desert?” How many places can you pose that question? Discuss this in your small group.

  • Parents: Read Ephesians 5:27 with your children this week and talk about how we cannot be “spotless” on our own and that it’s Jesus who does this for us through his death on the cross. Our job isn’t to be perfect but to believe that he is perfect for us. Share with them about when you made the decision to believe in him and pray with them if they are ready to follow him too!

Talk It Over
  • Shane’s first section had a bit of shock to it. Does knowing what the words clearly say in Hebrew affect how you read this passage and understand God’s anger at us going into “something else’s arms”?

  • In the points about spiritual addiction, which of these is most typical of where you figure out what you’re doing? Are you able to identify it at #1? #2? Or does it get all the way to #3 before you recognize what you’ve allowed to happen? What can you do to identify it earlier?

  • God is so faithful! Even in this difficult and painful passage, he seeks restoration with us! In your quiet time this week, pray over each of these points and ask God to help you in each area. Seek the discernment of the Holy Spirit in asking questions, find new and clear ways of personalizing your view of sin, etc.

  • Continue to keep the question, “How big is your God?” in front of you as we go through this series. This week, review the Jeremiah passage and ask that question throughout – “How big is a God who saved his people and led them through the desert?” How many places can you pose that question? Discuss this in your small group.

  • Parents: Read Ephesians 5:27 with your children this week and talk about how we cannot be “spotless” on our own and that it’s Jesus who does this for us through his death on the cross. Our job isn’t to be perfect but to believe that he is perfect for us. Share with them about when you made the decision to believe in him and pray with them if they are ready to follow him too!

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