Jeremiah 7:22-24 - Obedience Brings God's Blessings.
Jer.7:22-24: Obedience Brings God's Blessings.
CONTENT; What's in the verse; Translations; Paraphrase; Word
Jer 7:22 (CEV) At the time I brought your ancestors out of
Egypt, I didn't command them to offer sacrifices to me.
Jer 7:23 (CEV) Instead, I told them, "If you listen to me and
do what I tell you. I will be your God, you will be my people, and
all will go well for you."
Jer 7:24 (CEV) But your ancestors refused to listen. They were
stubborn, and whenever I wanted them to go one way, they always went the
Jeremiah 7:22 (AMP) For in the day that I brought them out of
the land of Egypt, I did not speak to your fathers or command them
concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices.
Jeremiah 7:23 (AMP) But this thing I did command them: Listen
to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My
people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be
well with you.
Jeremiah 7:24 (AMP) But they would not listen to and obey Me or
bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn
promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs
and went in reverse instead of forward.
CONTEXT; What's around the verse; Overview; Topic:
Jeremiah's stunning "temple sermon" condemned Judah's
superficial religion (7:1-19) and warned of coming slaughter (v. 20-8:4).
Judgment must strike the tainted land; divine punishment was fixed and
certain (v. 5-9:26). Yet after scorning Judah's idolatry (10:1-22),
Jeremiah prayed that the suffering which was ahead would correct, not
destroy (vv. 23-25). [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
7:1-34 Understand Shiloh's Judgment
In Jeremiah's "temple sermon," which he delivered at the gate of
the temple, he warned that the people could not expect to be
delivered from attack simply because of the presence of the temple in
Jerusalem (7:4). They were reminded of God's past judgment on Shiloh
(7:12), where the tabernacle had been set up. What had happened at
Shiloh could also happen to Jerusalem. The theme of Jeremiah's temple
sermon was presented in 7:3. Jesus quoted 7:11 in Mark 11:17; cf. Luke
19:46. Shiloh (7:12), located about twenty miles north of Jerusalem,
was the location of the tabernacle in the time of the judges (Josh.
18:1). The city was destroyed by the Philistines around 1050 B.C. The
"queen of heaven" (Jer. 7:18) referred to the heathen fertility goddess
Astarte, known in Babylon as Ishtar (cf. 44:17). With stinging sarcasm,
God rebuked the people whose sacrifices meant nothing as expressions
of genuine worship (7:21-22). Obedience, not ritual, had been God's
overriding concern when he instituted the sacrifices at Sinai (1 Sam.
15:22; Hos. 6:6). [New Bible Companion]
Message at the Temple Gate
The People's Disobedience
Obedience Is More than Sacrifice
CROSS REFERENCES; What's in verses elsewhere.
1 Samuel 15:22 (KJV) And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great
delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of
the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken
than the fat of rams.
Psalm 51:16-17 (KJV) For thou desirest not sacrifice; else
would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.  The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O
God, thou wilt not despise.
Proverbs 21:3 To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to
the Lord than sacrifice.
Hosea 6:6 (KJV) For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the
knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.
Matthew 9:13 (KJV) But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I
will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the
righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Matthew 12:7 (KJV) But if ye had known what this meaneth, I
will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the
Mark 12:33 (KJV) And to love him with all the heart, and with
all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the
strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole
burnt offerings and sacrifices.
Micah 6:6-8 (KJV) Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and
bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt
offerings, with calves of a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with
thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my
firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my
soul?  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the
Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to
walk humbly with thy God?
Exodus 15:26 (KJV) And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to
the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in
his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his
statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have
brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.
Exodus 19:5-6 (KJV) Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice
indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto
me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  And ye shall be
unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words
which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Deut. 5:29 (KJV) O that there were such an heart in them, that
they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it
might be well with them, and with their children for ever!
Deut. 11:27 (KJV) A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of
the Lord your God, which I command you this day:
Deut. 13:4 (KJV) Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and
fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall
serve him, and cleave unto him.
Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV) But this shall be the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I
will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts;
and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Romans 16:26 (KJV) But now is made manifest, and by the
scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting
God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
2 Cor. 10:5 (KJV) Casting down imaginations, and every high
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing
into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Hebrews 5:9 (KJV) And being made perfect, he became the author
of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
COMMENTARY / APPLICATION: Moving From The Head To The Heart
What is God teaching here? What does it teach about Jesus?
This verse is not to be understood as a denial that God
commanded the sacrifices to be made. Rather it is an argument against
substituting sacrifice for obedience. [Believer's SB]
God had set up a system of sacrifices to encourage the people to
joyfully obey him. He required the people to make these sacrifices, not
because the sacrifices themselves pleased him, but because they caused
the people to recognize their sin and refocus on living for God.
[Life Application SB]
All sacrifices were not rejected, only those offered without
true repentance and a commitment to obey the Lord. [Nelson SB]
Sacrifices are valid only when accompanied by sincere repentance
and joyful obedience. [NIV SB]
God's desire for His people involves relationship rather than
ritual. God's ideal is that He should be the God of all people with all
serving Him. Being God's people means obeying Him. [Disciple SB]
A sacrifice was a ritual transaction between man and God that
physically demonstrated a relationship between them. But if the person's
heart was not truly repentant or if he did not truly love God, the
sacrifice was a hollow ritual. Religious ceremonies or rituals are empty
unless they are performed with an attitude of love and obedience.
"Being religious" (going to church, serving on a committee, giving to
charity) is not enough if we do not act out of devotion and obedience to
God. [Life Application SB re 1Sa.15:22]
Is God pleased when you use company time to prepare your Sabbath
school lesson? How about driving 65 m.p.h. in a 55 m.p.h. zone so you
won't be late for church? Is it okay to cheat on your income tax if
you give the benefits of your "creative arithmetic" to God? There
is a fundamental question behind these situations and countless
others you may face during your lifetime: How important is obedience to
the Word of God? Is keeping His commands more important than trying
to do something else you think will please Him more? For King
Saul, the question carried life-or-death importance. He concluded that
God would overlook his incomplete obedience because of the generous
sacrifices he offered, the money he gave to God's service, the time he
spent in God's house. The decision cost him his kingdom--and eventually
his life. When God speaks, do you listen? And then do you act? You
cannot learn too well the lesson which Saul failed to learn at all:
"Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as
in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than
sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" ( 15:22 ). Obeying God with
half a heart can only lead to a broken heart--every time! [Your Daily
Walk SB re 1Sa.15:22]
Saul had lost his early humility (9:21) and became proud and
disobedient; he had rebelled against the Word of the Lord and had tried to
make up for his disobedience by sacrifices (vv. 21-23). Saul had
substituted saying for doing (15:13); excuses for confessions (15:15 and
21); and sacrifice for obedience (v. 22). [Wiersbe Expository
Outlines re 1Sa.15:22]
The one thing that ruined Saul's life and destroyed his future
was his inability to trust God, expressed in his failure to obey.
This is what's so encouraging about Saul's story. As we read it we
come to understand the central issue in the spiritual life. Saul's
story teaches us that the one thing we must do is to trust God, and
that trust will free us to obey. When you or I feel fear or sense
panic, that's the time to pause and remember who our God is. To think
about His greatness. To remember His power. To meditate on His love.
When we keep our hearts fixed on who God is, we trust ourselves to
Him. And we obey. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary re 1Sa.15:22]
Saul's stubborn disobedience was essentially an act of idolatry
because it elevated his will above God's will. [Nelson SB re 1Sa.15:22]
Only he who believes is obedient; only he who is obedience
believes. [Your Daily Walk SB re 1Sa.15:22]
God is more glorified and self more denied by obedience than by
sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a bullock or lamb to be burnt upon
the altar than to bring every high thought into obedience to God and
the will subject to his will. [Matthew Henry Commentary re
The promise is very encouraging. Let God's will be your rule,
and his favour shall be your happiness. [Matthew Henry Commentary re