Summary: This sermon confronts the audience with the issue of seeking soul satisfaction in anything other than a relationship with God.
Are You Drinking Out of The Fish Pond?
Purpose: To cause people to realize if they are seeking soul satisfaction in anything other than God.
You are on vacation in the mountains of north Georgia. You have decided to walk a mountain trail at the state park. It’s a hot August afternoon. You finish the hike you are tired and thirsty. As you come to the end of the trail you notice a huge refrigerator with a glass door (like in the convenience stores) filled with bottles of Crystal Springs water. The Sign says Fee water—help yourself. You are so thirsty you cannot wait to walk over to the cooler and help yourself to some cool refreshing water.
As you are satisfying your thirst with this cool clear free water you notice a man coming to the end of the trail. He looks even more tired and thirsty than you are. You just know he cannot wait to get some of this clean refreshing free water. But, to your surprise he stops at the end of the trail and kneels down to drink from a small fish pond at the end of the trail. You passed this fish pond and noticed the gold fish swimming in it—the Lilly pads, a few frogs and a turtle. Like most unattended fish ponds it was filled with algae, the water was green, stagnant, murky.
But, this man has his face down to the fish pond drinking with all his might. You just cannot believe it. Your curiosity gets the best of you so you walk over to the fish pond holding your bottle of Crystal Springs. You ask him—”Why are you drinking out of the fish pond? Don’t you see that cooler full of free Crystal Springs water? You will get sick drinking that polluted water. There is no telling what’s in that water.”
He says to you, “I saw the cooler, but this fish pond was closer, more convenient and I was real thirsty. And besides, didn’t you see this sign?” He pulls back a branch hanging over the fish pond and reveals an old hand painted sign that reads, “Free water—Drink all you want—it will satisfy your thirst”
What would you think about his guy? Would you think he was crazy—Drinking out of the fish pond when he could have clean, cool, refreshing water?
B. I want to ask you this morning—are you drinking out of the fish pond?
1. In our passage today, Israel was guilty of drinking out of the fish pond.
2. There was a clear, fresh, flowing fountain of water available but they chose instead to drink out of the fish pond.
1. Context—God is about to bring divine judgment on Judah because of their continual rejection of Him.
2. They are going to be destroyed by the Babylonians.
3. In preparation for this coming judgment, God sends Jeremiah @ 588 BC to preach 13 sermons of judgment against them.
4. God is showing them the reasons for His divine judgment.
5. Our passage today is the 1st of these 13 sermons.
I. ISRAEL’S SITUATION
A.Jer starts this sermon by recalling Israel’s former faithfulness. (1-3)
1.Jer goes back to the Exodus—God brought them out of bondage to Pharaoh
2. He first speaks of the “devotion of their youth”
*Jer is referring to that natural devotion that a child has to his parents
*when your parents were hero’s in your sight
*They could do no wrong—they had your unquestioned devotion
Illus. I remember when I was around 6 or 7 asking my dad if he were an angel. I knew he was not God but that was the next best thing in my eyes!
*Israel started off with this kind of devotion for God
3. Jer next says they loved God like a bride loves her husband! “love of your betrothals”
*ESV “your love as a bride”
*Do you remember your wedding day?
*How much you loved your husband?
Illus. One of the great things about being the preacher at a wedding is I get to see the look in the eyes of the bride and groom. When they are exchanging their vows-she looks at him with eyes of such love, admiration, devotion!
*Jer reminds Israel that they loved God like this in the early years
3. Israel followed God—cloud led they followed
4. Next, Jer tells them that they were special to God in those days. (3)
*Of all the nations of the world they were His special treasure.
*They were the firstfruits of the nations
*just like the firstfruits of the harvest was to be given to the Lord, they were His firstfruits
*Any nation that tried to take them over incurred God’s anger and punishment
Illus. The Amalekites tried to destroy them Ex 17 later God told King Saul to completely them