And the Chaldeans who fight against this city shall come and set fire to this city and burn it, with the houses on whose roofs they have offered incense to Baal and poured out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke Me to anger; because the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done only evil before Me from their youth. For the children of Israel have provoked Me only to anger with the work of their hands,’ says the Lord. (Jeremiah 32:29-30)
The Lessons Of Youth
Jeremiah was a prophet of God who lived during the time of the darkest days for the nation of Israel. The northern ten tribes had been decimated by the Assyrians leaving only Judah and Benjamin as a remnant nation of God’s people. Now the Babylonians stood poised to carry the remaining children of Israel into a seventy-year captivity. Jerusalem would be burned to the ground and Solomon’s temple razed. Idolatry had destroyed God’s people. Prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, Amos and Jeremiah warned the people against idol worship profaning the temple of God and polluting the land with the pagan immoralities of debauchery and wickedness. The people refused to listen. Calls to repent went unheeded. They killed the prophets and ridiculed men like Jeremiah who taught the judgment of the Lord clearly. There was no spirit of holiness in the land. A greater tragedy lay in the knowledge that the corruption of the nation had begun at an early age in the families of God’s people.
The Chaldeans were going to come against Jerusalem and set it one fire because the Lord allowed them this path. Baal corrupted the hearts of the people as they poured out their drink offerings to the gods of men. God’s judgment would be swift and strong as He punished the nation for their sin. The Lord declares this wickedness was taught from youth and the children of Israel and Judah failed to teach their children the right way of the Lord. Calamity was coming upon the nation because the children were never taught the way of truth. Any nation that stands will begin at the feet of their children. Israel did not teach the children and now they were being destroyed.
What was the reason for the fall of Israel? The cause of this national disaster began in the home where parents taught their children to love the things of the world. Anything their children wanted they were given. Discipline was never exercised because the little boys and girls needed to be shown the world owed them everything. Children were disobedient to parents, unruly, unloving, unthankful and spoiled with everything they wanted. Parents would not correct their children. The fads of the day were showered upon the children because that made them happy. Excess was the norm for the day. Respect for adults was nonexistent. Disorderly conduct was accepted. Children were taught at an early age to dress immodestly so they would not be laughed at by other children. Parents of Israel dressed their youthful daughters as if they were grown women in the sexually suggestive attire of the harlot. Young men were taught to conquer their passions with the freedom of fleshly pleasures. The home was not a place where the Lord was worshipped. It was a place where young men and women learned the world owed them everything. Jeremiah tells the children of Israel and Judah they were corrupt from their youth because their parents lead them in that path.
There is little difference from the days of Jeremiah and the homes of many today. The church is being filled with those who follow after the carnal desires of the world. It begins in the home with the children. Young men and women are being taught at an early age the world owes them everything and they are being raised to be spoiled upon the carnal pleasures of the world. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between the young woman of God and the young woman of the world. They dress the same, act the same and are empowered to believe they are entitled to what they want. Sadly, the writings of the prophets mirror the same problems the church faces today. The people of God are being destroyed by parents who want their children to be accepted in a world of Baal and somehow pretend they are teaching them righteousness. Like the days of Jeremiah a day of reckoning will come and the influence of truth will be lost in the dredges of a carnal world. Too many parents believe they can raise their children under the influence of the world and expect them to grow up and love the Lord. Jesus reminds us of the impossibility to serve two masters.
The children of Israel and the children of Judah filled the land with evil because that is what they were taught in their youth. Parents who fail to teach their children early to love the Lord are setting their family up for eternal failure. Israel was destroyed because the home was destroyed. Children must be taught to know righteousness so they will learn the truth when they get older. When families allow their children to live like the sensual world, they will grow up to be carnal and pleasure seeking adults who care only for themselves and their fleshly happiness. The lessons of youth. Which way are you going?