SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
2:1 The Lord’s message came to me, 2 “Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have fond memories of you, how devoted you were to me in your early years. I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted. 3 Israel was set apart to the Lord; they were like the firstfruits of a harvest to him. All who tried to devour them were punished; disaster came upon them,” says the Lord.’”
4 Now listen to the Lord’s message, you descendants of Jacob,
all you family groups from the nation of Israel.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“What fault could your ancestors have possibly found in me
that they strayed so far from me?
They paid allegiance to worthless idols, and so became worthless to me.
6 They did not ask,
‘Where is the Lord who delivered us out of Egypt,
who brought us through the wilderness,
through a land of valleys and gorges,
through a land of desert and deep darkness,
through a land in which no one travels,
and where no one lives?’
7 I brought you into a fertile land
so you could enjoy its fruits and its rich bounty.
But when you entered my land, you defiled it;
you made the land I call my own loathsome to me.
8 Your priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’
Those responsible for teaching my law did not really know me.
Your rulers rebelled against me.
Your prophets prophesied in the name of the god Baal.
They all worshiped idols that could not help them.
9 “So, once more I will state my case against you,” says the Lord.
“I will also state it against your children and grandchildren.
10 Go west across the sea to the coasts of Cyprus and see.
Send someone east to Kedar and have them look carefully.
See if such a thing as this has ever happened:
11 Has a nation ever changed its gods
(even though they are not really gods at all)?
But my people have exchanged me, their glorious God,
for a god that cannot help them at all!
12 Be amazed at this, O heavens.
Be shocked and utterly dumbfounded,”
says the Lord.
13 “Do so because my people have committed a double wrong:
They have rejected me,
the fountain of life-giving water,
and they have dug cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns that cannot even hold water.