Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sermon Recap: Shiloh

Our series through Jeremiah, called Run with Horses, continued this past Sunday night with a sermon called Shiloh. The text for the passage was Jeremiah 7:1-15. In this passage, God threatens to destroy the temple in Jerusalem just like he had destroyed the tabernacle in Shiloh over 400 years earlier.

The point of the sermon was that, sometimes, exile is rescue. The lesson of Shiloh is that God will destroy what we consider sacred in order to save what he considers sacred--us. You've heard it said, "Whenever God closes a door, he opens a window." Not always. Sometimes God closes the door, boards up the windows, and then sets fire to the house with you inside. Sometimes, Jerusalem has to become Shiloh in order for us to learn to abandon our idols.


We become what we worship, and God so passionately loves us that he will do whatever he needs to do to save us from our idols. When we worship the true God, we become more and more like his son Jesus. But when we worship false gods, we are transformed into false images, into a nothingness and a broken cistern. God wants to rescue you from your worship of empty, false, and lifeless gods.

Because we become what we worship, being rescued from our idols is painful. Idolatry puts us in the position of pain, either at the hands of the false gods, who only seek to destroy us, or at the hands of the one true God, who only seeks to save and restore us. Exile will always feel like exile, but in the hands of God, exile is rescue.

Jesus quoted this passage when he judged the temple by driving out the moneychangers. He went so far as to say, "Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it in three days." Essentially, he was saying, "I am the temple of God. You can kill me, but I will rise again three days later." Jesus became Shiloh for us. Jesus, the new and living temple, became Shiloh when he was crucified, not for his sin or idolatry, but for ours. His exile is our rescue.

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