The Corruption of the Nation

Title: The Corruption of the Nation

Bible Book: Jeremiah 8 : 1-12

Author: Donnie L. Martin

Subject: God and Country; Call of God; America



As I stated in my first sermon in this series, the nation of Israel had enjoyed God's blessings in an unprecedented way. God had personally chosen them to be His people from among all the peoples of the earth. According to the Scriptures, this was not due to any special attractiveness or merit on their part. God, in His infinite wisdom, chose this insignificant people as the vehicle through whom He would show His love, mercy and grace, and fulfill His eternal purposes. Deuteronomy 7: 6 and 7 says of Israel, "...The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people."

Yet in spite of the fact that God chose, cared for, and cherished Israel, they betrayed Him over and over again, by turning to false gods. God Himself referred to the children of Israel as a "stiffnecked people" (Deut.9: 13b). That simply meant that they were rebellious and stubborn. The accuracy of God's evaluation of Israel has been verified numerous times throughout their history. However, in spite of Israel's failures and foibles, God remained faithful.

Now we look at how the nation became corrupt.

I. Unfaithfulness.

Jeremiah 9:2, "Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men."

Jeremiah refers to Israel as, "...adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men" (v. 9b). Though the people were no doubt practicing the physical sin of adultery, Jeremiah's primary thought here is probably the nation's unfaithfulness to God, via idolatry.

In Jeremiah 8:1-2 and 10:2, reference is made to "the host of heaven" and "the signs of heaven," which is a reference to the worship of the sun, moon, and stars. The practice of guiding one's life by the stars, or signs of the zodiac is centuries old.

Also, Jeremiah 10:3-5 speaks of the facts that Israel's gods were of their own making. When man rejects the one true God, he will usually begin to worship gods of his own making. Man has an innate desire to worship something, even if it's himself.

The first part of verse two seems to be 180 degrees from the sentiments that Jeremiah expressed in verse one, where he spoke of his great sorry over what his people were going to endure. Here in verse two, he speaks of his revulsion at Israel's great wickedness. The "lodging place of wayfaring men" that he speaks of here is a reference to a small, crude building that was used as a layover for those who were traveling in remote areas of the desert. "Though a lonely and often filthy dwelling, Jeremiah would prefer even it to the comforts of Jerusalem, so as to be removed from the pollutions of the capital" (Jamison, Fausset, Brown Commentary, acquired from, Jeremiah chapter 9). Sin was literally bringing his nation to ruin, and Jeremiah did not want to have to see their putrid corruption.

There was a time when America was known as a Christian nation. There was a time once, when America was strong, possessed of character, morality, and determination. But since America has turned her back on God, she is on the verge of collapse. The following poem illustrates how our country has turned on God:


"Mary had a little lamb,

His fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,

The Lamb was sure to go.

"He followed her to school each day,

T'wasn't even in the rule.

It made the children laugh and play,

To have a Lamb at school.

"And then the rules all changed one day,

Illegal it became,

To bring the Lamb of God to school,

Or even speak His Name.

"Every day got worse and worse,

And days turned into years.

Instead of hearing children laugh,

We heard gunshots and tears.

"What must we do to stop the crime,

That's in our schools today?

Let's let the Lamb come back to school,

And teach our kids to pray!"

Taken from

One indicator of how America has turned its back on God is the importance given to spiritual matters, such as church attendance. For instance, the Barna Research Group has found that:

We note that 40% of American adults attend church in a typical weekend (2000). From the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties, church attendance was on a roller coaster ride. In 1986, 42% of adults attended a church service during a typical week in January. Attendance rose steadily, reaching a peak of 49% in 1991, before beginning a very slow but steady descent back to 40% in January 2000.

Obtained from

II. Untruthfulness.

Jeremiah 9:3, "And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord."

My dad used to have a saying, "Some folks will tell a lie when the truth sounds better" (Lelond L. Martin). The basic idea of that statement is that some people are compulsive liars. Jeremiah says that his people had become consummate liars.

The picture here is vivid - the tongue is the bow and the lying is the arrow...They had completely abandoned moral and social standards. Mutual trust had vanished. The inner cohesiveness of the nation had broken down. Judah was laden with deceit...Willful ignorance of God was the root of their sin. They did not care to know or recognize him.

Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor, The Expositor's Bible Commentary, Zondervan Publishing House: Grand Rapids, Michigan, pg. 441.

America of today isn't much better. According to Barna Research:

Intentional deceit is another plague riddling our society. One-third of all adults (32%) claim that "the way things are these days, lying is sometimes necessary."

Obtained from

A man's word used to be his bond in America. Now a days that's only true if it doesn't put one in a bind. Like Israel, many Americans have begun to use their tongue as a weapon against what they fear, rather than faith in God.

III. Untrustworthiness.

Jeremiah 9:4-5a, "Take ye heed every one of his neighbour, and trust ye not in any brother: for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders. 5a And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth..."

The whole atmosphere of the country was one of distrust. When a country ceases to operate upon godly standards for their actions and relationships, that's exactly what happens-distrust, due to the likelihood of exploitation.

Look at our own situation here in America.

Children used to be able to trust adults, on the whole. Now we have to teach children how to protect themselves from perverts, who would think nothing of preying upon an innocent child.

Think also of the fact that respect for the elderly used to be a common practice in our country. Now however, it is not uncommon to hear of many elderly folks being scammed out of their entire life savings, by some unscrupulous crook.

Most people of our day are skeptical of almost everything and everybody with which they are not familiar, because of the fact that the rule of the day seems to be, "Every man for himself. I'm going to get you before you can get me."

IV. Ungodliness.

Jeremiah 9:5b-6, "...they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity. Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord."

In verse 5 Jeremiah speaks of the unnaturalness of Israel's sin. Not only did they sin, but they worked at it. The people trained their tongues to lie. When you think about it, lying takes more effort than telling the truth. When you tell a lie, you have to be sure to tell it exactly the same way every time, so that you don't get caught in your lie. Jeremiah went so far as to say that the people wore themselves out in their efforts to commit wickedness.

Folks, our nation has become increasingly corrupt; and just plain wicked.

Would it surprise you to know that, "...among the people who had an opinion on the subject, 46% stated that 'Christian churches should accept gay people as church leaders'" (Ibid)?

Would it also surprise you to know that " of adults (33%) say that the acceptability of viewing pornographic images is a matter of taste, not morality" (Ibid)?

Would it surprise you to know that of the adults asked about the importance of truthfulness, "...32% hold the perspective that lying is sometimes necessary" (Ibid)?

Would it surprise you to know that in 1997, 62% of all adults believed that Satan was only a symbol of evil, but not a real entity; or that 61% of all adults believed that likewise, the Holy Spirit was only a symbol of God's presence and power, but not a real entity (Obtained from Barna Research at

Our nation is every bit as corrupt as Israel in the days of Jeremiah the prophet. The only hope for our survival is revival.


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