Summary: The third of six messages from Jeremiah on the wages of sexual sin. This sermon focuses on the temptation, shame, guilt and addictive nature of sexual sin.
A. If you have your Bible, please turn to Jeremiah 2. We are spending some time looking together at the book of Jeremiah in the OT and we are discovering that this book is incredibly relevant to our lives today.
1. One of the first topics God addresses in the first few chapters is sexuality. Talk about a relevant issue. So much of the focus of our society is sex--this obsession with looking sexy and experiencing sexual pleasure.
2. It’s everywhere--Just waiting in the checkout line at Walmart is an opportunity to stare at cleavage on magazine covers, or be enticed to read Cosmopolitans lead article on how to drive your man crazy in bed.
3. Again, it’s everywhere. Commercials, movies, the internet. You can hardly do a search on the internet without some side bar ad trying to entice us to look at some sexy video.
B. Which is similar to the situation in Jeremiah’s day. They obviously didn’t have people paying to download porn from the internet, but they did have these temples that were everywhere.
1. And anyone could just stop in and have sex with a temple prostitute. It was easily accessible and acceptable.
2. And what was happening was that God’s people were getting seduced by the sexual attitudes and involvements of the culture around them. Rather than following God’s life giving design for sex, they were buying into the culture’s perspective on sex.
3. So in the early chapters of Jeremiah, God speaks vividly and directly to His people about this particular issue.
C. And that’s exactly what I feel like He is wanting to do with us. He is speaking His heart to us about this very real issue that is wreaking so much havoc in marriages and in families and in the lives of young people and in the ministries of Christian leaders and in the spiritual lives of so many Christ-followers.
1. I was just talking with someone this past week who said, I am so glad you are talking about this. My marriage was destroyed by pornography. My husband got hooked as a teenager and brought that into our marriage. And it destroyed our family.
2. God loves us enough to tell it like it is, to be real about the seriousness of this particular issue. In the first part of chapter 2, He shares His heart toward us, His bride. The heart of a wounded lover.
3. Then as we saw last week, He gives us this incredibly vivid picture of sin. That sin is saying no to the stream of living water that can feed our souls, and trying instead to dig our own cisterns, our own water storage tanks that can’t hold water.
D. That’s what sin is. It is our attempts to find life in anything other than God. And as we talked about last week, that doesn’t work. The soul cravings we all have--for acceptance and significance--aren’t ultimately satisfied in having sex with our boyfriend, or in looking at pornography or in trying to dress in a way that people think looks sexy or in having an affair.
1. These are all broken cisterns that can’t hold water. They leave our souls empty. Now that is significant in and of itself but it is not the only damaging aspect of sexual sin.
2. Beginning in vs 19, God speaks very frankly about the consequences of sexual sin.
E. Let’s read vs 19 out loud together. "Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of Me," declares the Lord.
1. Notice what He is saying here about the consequences of sexual sin. I think a lot of people tend to think of God looking down from heaven and when anyone sins sexually, He punishes them in some way.
2. I just saw a commercial for a new movie with Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey. I’m not endorsing the movie at all.
3. But in it, Kate Hudson is distraught and says something like "We just had sex in a church and we’re not even married. Is God going to strike us with lightning."
F. I think that is the view a lot of people have especially regarding sexual sin. We know it’s wrong and so when we give in, we feel sure God’s going to get us.
1. But look again at what this verse says. "Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you." God is saying, "Look, the natural consequences of this are bad enough. The sin itself will negatively impact you."
2. It’s like when I tell my youngest son to not push his remote control car in a particular way or it will break. But rather than using the remote, he continues to push it back and forth on the ground--and it breaks.