It is a curious reality of dedicated sports fans that, in spite of their cherished teams record, they are number one. Perhaps it a universal trait of human desire that we all want to claim superior status over others. We don’t just want to become #1, we chant our claims to already be top dog.
According to Christian Scripture, that tendency is prevalent even among God’s people. Our weekly devotion through Claiming Christ has ventured into prophetic territory. On one hand, God confronts the ancient Israelites during the ministry of Jeremiah, while at the same time warning all his children of this susceptible malady.
Through his unpopular servant, Jeremiah, God questions his chosen people who “come through these gates to worship the Lord” regarding their superstitious claims of safety. Apparently because they recalled their special heritage as a chosen nation out of all other nations, they developed popular phrases that emphasized their unique status and God was not pleased.
The way God describes it in Jeremiah 7, the people would come to worship God and repeat superstitious phrases that sounded like they wanted to honor God, and they would also go so far as to encourage each other that they held a special status of safety because of their connection to God. The caveat however was that they claimed such privileged status in spite of their persistence in sinful living.
God was not amused; nor was he in agreement.
They are not alone in their tendency to claim divine safety as the chosen people of God. Many Christians Today hold to similar views. Consider the phrase “Once saved, always saved”. It has an attractive ring to it and is often repeated within sanctified gatherings of believers. Certainly there is an element of viability within such a phrase, just as some Israelites could legitimately claim safety before God, but that is not always the case and blindly repeating it does not hold any magical power of fulfillment.
In the context of what God confronts within his people, if the evidence conflicts with the claim, then the result is hypocrisy not validity. In other words, if followers of the Almighty God repeat words of faith while at the same time living in sin, they are deluding themselves with deceptive words. They are trying to comfort their minds with superstitious phrases that have no basis in truth.
God is not obligated to save the miserable soul of “chosen” believers who insist on mixing decadence with religious piety. Don’t be fooled by unbiblical phrases that suggest that “We are safe—safe to do all these detestable things.”
Our Lord’s call to his chosen and special people is the same Today as it was back in Jeremiahs time: “Do not trust in deceptive words…change your ways”, or as it often says elsewhere, repent.
Are you following the advice of the popular religious crowd, or responding to the unpopular ministry of servants like Jeremiah who are willing to speak the hard truth in love? May you find true safety through the words of Scripture rather than of man.