The first half of Jeremiah 25 reveals the problem that has been happening between the people and God. Check out what Jeremiah tells them: “from early each morning to late every night I’ve passed it on to you. And you haven’t listened to a word of it”. Jeremiah makes if pretty clear. He has faithfully spoke God’s truth to the people day after day, morning til night, over and over. They weren’t lacking an opportunity to hear from God. He has been letting it out all day and night. The issue is pretty clear – the people have made a choice to ignore it. Not only from Jeremiah, but form all the “steady stream of prophets” that God has sent with His truth. This is not a new situation – they have been ignoring the truth for a long time. Realize that is a choice. We all have to decide if we will listen to God and receive His truth, or just ignore it and choose not to be obedient. Pretty simple set of choices.
In this case, God has given his verdict. The people will be destroyed. They will be surrounded and made to pay a heavy price for 70 years – did you catch that – 70 years of pain and suffering. That is a long time folks. It is payment for the sin they have lived – the sin of ignoring God’s truth as shared by His prophets. But the thing that struck me was this. God says He will “banish every sound of joy” from the people. Can you imagine this? All joy is gone – no laughter, no singing, no marriage festivities, no candlelit suppers – joy is gone completely. The punishment for ignoring God’s truth is pretty strong. Here is the reality – ignorance is also not an excuse. Don’t know what God expects? That does not excuse you from being accountable to Him. He expects us to be paying attention to His truth as it is shared. In our world today it comes in a lot of ways, but our primary source is getting into the Bible and learning it. We are responsible to read and understand. There is no shortage of ways for that to happen. We need to understand God’s decree. We need to live it and love it. No excuses!