#Note: This first appeared in Today's "Last Call" Devotionals but was so powerful we felt it ought to be posted here as well-MjS
Do you realize that when you choose to take a life in abortion, that when you choose to, to offer that baby, so to speak, that’s in your womb as a sacrifice to your own desires, and have the baby put to death
that you are inviting death, that you are bringing judgment upon the land?
Beloved, you can’t do that and get away with it.
It’s a lie. It’s a deception if you think you can.
O Precious One, did my words just literally stab you?
Did they stab you because you’ve had an abortion,
because you’ve murdered a child?
And we can’t say that abortion is anything else than having a child put to death.
That’s all it is.
It is murder.
If we recognize our sin, if we confess our sin, if we return to God then His arms are open wide to heal us, and He will do that. But I cannot keep silent about abortion when it is going against what God has ordained, when it is taking a life.
Now I’m not going to be teaching on abortion today, but I’m going to show you, in a sense, how the children of Israel were sacrificing their children to false gods, and what the consequences of that was. We are looking at Jeremiah chapter 7, 8 and 9.
We’re looking at his message to the people. And the message is this, do not be deceived. Don’t be deceived. You’ve got to understand that God is a God of lovingkindness. He is a God of justice. He is a God of righteousness, and He has to act according to who He is.
Don’t trust in deceptive words and think, “„[Oh] …the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD..” (Jeremiah 7:4) And that you can get away with it. You cannot get away with it. And if you name yourself “Christian,” and you are living in continual overt sin, when you are disobeying God, you need to examine yourself to see if you’re really a child of God. Don’t be deceived. Don’t be deceived. Now you say, “But my friends are telling me.” Do you know what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15? [Don’t be deceived, evil companions corrupt good morals.] (PARAPHRSE 1 Corinthians 15:33) Don’t be deceived. You go to the Word of God, and you see what the Word of God has to say.
Well in Jeremiah chapter 7, I stopped at verse 32. He’s talking about how He’s going to have to judge them, how He’s going to put His wrath on them. And then He says, in verse 31, He says “„[You] have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn [your] sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it [didn’t] come into My mind..” (Jeremiah 7:31)
It didn’t come into My mind. It would never come into My mind that man, that I have created, as Genesis 9 says, in My image (See Genesis 9:6) should ever be put to death, should ever be murdered. I didn’t come into My mind. It says “„Therefore, behold, days are coming,. declares the LORD, „when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of…Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place..” (Jeremiah 7:32)
Now what’s going on? Let’s just stop and think about it. I wrote a novel, a historical novel. It’s really a true story in novel form. And in that novel, I bring out this child sacrifice that Israel got involved in. They were worshiping these false gods. And the false gods said, “Okay, if you want a fertile land then you give me the son of the child of your womb. You want more children, you give me the firstborn.”
The firstborn belonged to the Lord.
But what they were doing is they were taking their firstborn, and they were sacrificing it. And what you see is ancient drawings of what this is like. And you see a ramp going up, and at the end of that ramp was the god. And the god sometimes is just an open mouth, and there’s a fire inside. And the person comes and, and brings their child by the hand as a sacrifice to this god. A god that is no god, a god that can’t do anything, a god that had to be constructed with their hands, a god that is a figment of their imagination, a god that can’t do anything about their fertility or infertility because he’s a creation of man.
So they take that child by the hand. They put the hand of the child in the priests’ hand, the priest of Baal. He takes the child by the hand, leads the child up the ramp, and throws the child into the fire. This is Topheth. This is the valley of Hinnom. It means “a place of fire, a place of burning” where they are offering their children.
And my contention is this, that when you and I turn from a true knowledge of God, a true understanding of His Word, and we’re going to see that they had the law, but they didn’t pay attention to it. But when we turn from that, we turn into deception. We turn to idols. We deny the reality of one God, one absolute sovereign, One who is righteous, One who is just, One who is lovingkindness. We deny that.
And so we turn from the knowledge of God, and we exchange truth for a lie as Romans 1 says. (See Romans 1:25) We serve the creature more than the Creator. We bow down to statues, and false ideas, and that, and we worship them. We give obedience to them. And when we do that’s idolatry. And idolatry leads to immorality, and immorality leads to perversion, homosexuality, lesbianism, the man leaving the natural use of the woman, men with men and women with women. And that leads to a reprobate, a depraved mind that there’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s no absolutes. You can read about it in Romans chapter 1. (See Romans 1:24-28)
And so when they do this, see it is logical that you’d get rid of this thing that’s in your abdomen, that’s an inconvenience to you, or an inconvenience to your partner, or an inconvenience to your husband. So you just go and offer your child. So He says, “okay, I’m gonna turn it even from a valley of burning, that’s where Gehenna comes from. It was where the trash and the refuse were cast out, and where the fire was going all the time. I’m gonna turn it to a valley of Slaughter. It’s not gonna be just burning. It is going to be blood, blood all over the place.”
Listen to what He says. Verse 33 of chapter 7 of Jeremiah. “The dead bodies of [these] people will be food for the birds of the sky and…the beasts of the earth; and no one will frighten them away..” (Jeremiah 7:33) Their bodies are gonna be strewn all over this valley of Hinnom, this valley now of Slaughter. And the animals will come in and tear and eat the flesh. The hyenas will sit there and eat the flesh. The birds of the air will come down and be on their bodies. And you will see the vultures having their pick and filling their beaks. He says this is what’s going to happen. And who’s going to do it? God is going to do it. God is. He says, “„Then I will make to cease from the cities of Judah…from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom…the voice of the bride; for the land will become a ruin..” (Jeremiah 7:34)
Now listen to me very carefully.
When we go after deception what happens is it ruins a land. It ruins a people. It ruins lives. You can just see what’s happening in the United States of America. Families are ruined. I mean the traditional family, the model of the wife taking care of the home, and the children, and the husband. She’s out now having a career. The kids are being raised by someone that’s not their mother. And you say, “Their grandmother can do it.” You know what? God didn’t ordain for grandmothers to raise the children of their children. The parents are supposed to raise the children. We’re all askew. And because we’re askew we have a lot of people that are suffering.
The voice of joy is going to be gone. The voice of laughter is going to be gone. It says in chapter 8, verse 1, “„At that time,. declares the LORD [God], „they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah…the bones of [the] princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves..” They’ll go, and they’ll dig out the bones and, “„They will spread them [in the valley]…..” (Jeremiah 8:1-2)
Now listen, to a Jew a bone, a piece of that person’s body is very very precious. The enemy will lay them out. They worship the sun. They worship the moon. They worship the host of heaven. The Jews have worshiped the same thing. They’ve been deceived. They haven’t believed that God is God, and they’ve followed the gods of the cultures around them. And it says, these gods “„…which they have served…which they have gone after…which they have sought…which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered…,.” the bones, “„…or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground. And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains…..” (Jeremiah 8:2-3)
Isn’t that awful! They would choose death instead of life. Why? Because they were deceived. Don’t be deceived. Listen to this message and come right back.
Welcome back, Beloved. You know this is not easy to listen to, is it? I know it’s not easy, but I want you to know it is so essential. It is so absolutely vital. We’ve got to deal with reality. We’ve got to deal with sin. We’ve got to call sin sin. It’s not an issue. It’s not your little problem. And we all have little problems. It is a sin. And sins can be forgiven. And you can be set free from sin. And that’s what’s so great about it. That’s what God is all about. Well all those bones are laid out, but there’s gonna be a remnant. Everybody’s not gonna be killed. And in verse 3 of Jeremiah 8 it says, “„And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in…the places [in] which I have driven them,. declares the LORD….”And so what are you gonna say to those people that did not die? “„You shall say to them, “Thus says the LORD, „Do men fall and not get up again…?.”.” They don’t lay there unless they’re dead. They try to get up. It says, “„“…Does one turn away [from God] and not repent?..”
You see the message of Jeremiah is, you have forsaken Me. Return to Me. I will heal you. I will forgive you. I will restore you. I will restrain My hand of judgment. He says, “„Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away in continual apostasy…?.” (Jeremiah 8:3-5) I keep tapping you on the shoulder. I keep speaking to you. I keep shouting to you. You should return. But why do you walk in continual apostasy? Apostasy means that you once held something true, and now you’re turning away from it and acting like it’s not true. Well, you may hold something as true, then you turn away from it and you act like it’s not true. But all of a sudden you come to your senses, duh! It is true, and so you return. But they’re not returning. Now why are they not returning?
Remember our subject this week is deception. What is it like? Where does it lead? Why the deception? And so then He says, “„Why then has this people, Jerusalem, turned away…,.” and you want to mark it. Remember we’re marking “return,” “turn away”. “„…In continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse…..” (Jeremiah 8:5) They dig in their heels. I’m not going to do it. I am not going to do it. And enfolding their arms, and digging in their heels, and holding on, they’re going to destroy themselves. He says, “„I have listened and [I have] heard…..” And you know what? “„…They have spoken what is not right; no man repented of his wickedness, saying “What have I done…?”.” He says, “„…Everyone turned to his [horse, to his] course, like a horse charging to battle..” (Jeremiah 8:6) They just got on the horse and they just ran this horrible, horrible course. He says, look, “„[Even the stork]…..” Have you ever seen a stork? They’re very interesting. They don’t have babies in their mouths, by the way, no little
and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration…..” They know hey, it’s time to go. He says, “„…But My people do not know the ordinance of the LORD..” (Jeremiah 8:7) These people are holding fast to deceit. You go back to chapter 7, in verse 3 and verse 8, they are trusting in deceptive words. Now they don’t know God. They don’t know the ordinance of God.
And listen to me, the ordinance of God is the Word of God. It’s the way of God. It’s the law of God. It’s the commandments of God. And if you don’t know the ordinance of God, and you don’t understand who God is then you think, “Okay, I’ve done it. I’ve made my bed. I’ve got to lie in it. I’ll be miserable for the rest of my life because I had an abortion I will always think of myself as a murderer. My life is ruined. I can never get over it. I will remember the baby I killed all the days of my life.”
You can get over it. And I don’t mean that to sound cruel, but I’m saying that this is what Christianity is all about. This is what God is all about. It’s about forgiveness of sins. It’s about a new life, a new start. It’s about [forgetting those things that are behind and pressing forward to the things that are ahead.] (PARAPHRASE, Philippians 3:13)
But you don’t know it because you don’t know the ordinance of God. You’re running by what your heart feels. You’re running by what your mind thinks; and you’re mind isn’t thinking straight. It’s not thinking according to the Word, the ordinance of God. All the way through the Scriptures God is presented as the Redeemer, as the Forgiver, as the Restorer, as the One who is “hesed,” who is lovingkindness. He says “„How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us…?”.” (Jeremiah 8:8) They think they’ve got it made ’cause they’ve got the temple of the Lord, and hey, they’ve got the law of the Lord. They’ve got the scroll. They’ve got the inside stuff. They’ve got the record of God speaking to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all these men. They’ve got it. So they think, “Hey, I’m wise. I own the Bible. I’ve read it once or twice. Well, maybe not all the way through, but you know, don’t talk to me about reading it daily. I’ve read it, you know. It’s okay.” He says “„How can you say, “We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us.? …behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie..” (Jeremiah 8:8) The scribes were the ones that copied the law. The scribes were the ones that were like the lawyers that would debate the situation according to what they knew of the Word of God ’cause people didn’t have their own copy of the Word of God. So it says, “„….Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD…..” He says, “„…[so] what kind of wisdom do they have?.” (Jeremiah 8:9) See, when you’re deceived, you think you’re wise, and you don’t know how stupid you are. You don’t know how deceived you are. It says, so this is what I’m gonna do. “„…[I’m gonna] give [your] wives to others, [I’m gonna give] their fields to new owners; because [even] from the least [of them in Jerusalem, in Judah] to the greatest [of them] everyone is greedy for gain…..” (Jeremiah 8:10)
It’s all about me. It’s all about having more. It’s just give me, give me, give me. And when you look at the United States of America no nation could have more than America. And even the poorest of the poor aren’t poor like the people in other countries. It says, “„…[Everyone practices deceit] everyone is greedy for gain; from the prophet…,.” the one that’s supposed to be the spokesman from God, “„…even to the priest…,.” the one that’s supposed to serve in the temple, “„…[they] practices deceit. They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, saying, “Peace, peace” [when] there is no peace..” (Jeremiah 8:10-11)
False prophets are going around saying, “Hey, God’s not gonna judge us.” What is he doing? He’s deceiving them. And in his deceit here are people that are broken. Broken and they can’t be healed because he’s saying “Peace, peace” and there can’t be peace without righteousness.