“The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord” (7:4), cried the people of Jeremiah’s day. Surely, we are safe, for the Lord would not destroy his own house! How deceptive were these words, and how ultimately worthless was a building of stones and wood to a people who would not follow their God. The situation had reached the point at which the people were so hardened that God instructed his prophet, “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you" (7:16).
From the time of the Exodus, the Lord had instructed, “'Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people. And walk in all the way that I command you, that it may be well with you” (7:23). But the people would not. And they trusted in all the wrong things: the stones of the temple, their religious ceremonies, the idols, all that stuff that would neither save nor comfort. How often do we hear, “Oh, I do this.” “I do that.” “I am a member of . . .” I attend . . .” But the one who truly knows the Lord, who is in love with the Lord, sings:
I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands.
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand
Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin's dread sway.
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today. --Rhea Miller