Jeremiah 1:14 & 16 “…calamity shall break forth…because they have forsaken Me, burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.”
            This doesn’t sound very encouraging.  And one of the motives of this blog is to bring encouragement to those who are depressed and oppressed. What does calamity mean?  “Disaster, catastrophe, tragedy, and misfortune.”   All of us at one time or another have experienced adversity in various forms of severity.  Not always is it caused because we have forsaken God and burned incense to other gods and worshiped the works of our hands.  It is hard to understand why bad things happen to good people.  Sometimes it is a test, sometimes caused by our own or others foolishness, and sometimes for no apparent reason.  Yet God is always in charge.
            This particular Scripture is speaking to those who have believed in God and then gone off to serve other gods.  The House of Peace[1] will not have peace.  The Walls of Praise[2]will be singing the songs of lamentations. (Verse 15).  Some may argue that per this Scripture God is speaking to the Jews only.  Not so!  The Word of God is for everyone, to the Jew and non-Jew.  “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  (Romans 3:23)    “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” (Leviticus 24:22)  “One law and one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that dwells with you.” (Numbers 15:16)  The word law (Law/Torah) according to Strong’s concordance number 8451[3], means “instruction, direction (human or divine).  That’s the definition in the Old Testament.  What does it mean when it is written in the New Testament?  “Of the Mosaic law, and referring, according to the context, either to the volume of the law or to its contents.” (Strong’s 3551)[4]  “A law or rule producing a state approved by God or by the observance of which we are approved by God.” (Thayer’s Lexicon)[5]  Thus when we read the word law in the Old Testament or the New Testament, its definition is the same.  Simply stated, the word Law means God’s teachings and instructions whether it comes from the Old Testament or the New Testament.
            Jeremiah is speaking to those who know God’s teachings and instructions.  They have forsaken their ‘first love’ and gone off to serve other gods.  The house that was once filled with peace is now filled with chaos; the walls (of God’s protection) that were standing because praise was holding them up have fallen down.  The forces of darkness have set up snares (thrones) at the entrances of our homes.  They surround the House of Peace.  They come against the Walls of Praise.  Why?  Because the former believer has been burning incense to other gods and worshiping what human hands have made.  What are those other gods?  To name a few, they are:
  •    Worldly wisdom
  •  Lust and lewdness
  •  Violence
  • Gizmo’s and gadgets
  • Things thought to make our life easier and more efficient giving us more leisure time.era
  • Generally, anything that takes the place of worshiping God.
Be blessed
Jane Owens  ©2013

[1] Definition of Jerusalem (peace)
[2] Definition of Judah (praise)
[3] Blue Letter Bible
[4] Ibid
[5] Ibid