Robert Wurtz II
“For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the LORD.
Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:13–16 ESV)
It only takes reading the fact that everyone from the prophet to the priest was greedy for unjust gain to realize why they had only healed the sin of people slightly. They put feel-good bandaids over the festering sores of sin and compromise. It is characteristic of those who are given to monetary gain to cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. When money is the motivating factor among the people it is certain that the preachers (prophets and priests) will simply tell the people what they want to hear.
As an ardent student of world and Biblical history, it is hard for me to think of a generation that has flouted law like this generation. Flouting God’s law, natural law, and man’s law has been normalized over the last decade. Rebellion is celebrated and rewarded. With conditions such as we live in in the twenty-first century, one would think that the pulpits of these lands would be pouring out a call to repentance in fire — but that is simply not the case. Preachers like A.W. Tozer and Leonard Ravenhill lamented their respective generations of the 40s-50s and 60s-80s. Today one of the most popular messages you will hear is on religious spirits. Rather than trembling before God at the wildly outrageous behaviors that are normalized in society and the church, the hip thing to do is to attack the precious few people who are left that are willing to stand for truth. That is how utterly pathetic and disgraceful things have become.
Indeed, if a man-of-God preaches against sin he is labeled a religious bigot on a rant or a tirade. God, in His holiness, has been villainized as the imps of hell have been glorified. Where is the protest? Where is the outrage? From the pulpits to the pews… where is the voice of reason? Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Is it possible that we have gone long enough that only the elders know that the modern world is in a moral and spiritual freefall? If a person was born into this modern madness they don’t know the difference. What about those who can remember how things used to be?
God has a solution for those who grew up in the modern world, Thus says the LORD: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” The “ancient paths” for Israel referred to a time when the people were following God’s word — written and prophetic. God was front and center. The fear of the Lord was normalized. And for us, it is easier than ever. The average person in the West can access nearly all human knowledge from their smartphone. They can investigate what the ancient paths have been for the church and our nations. Are they researching? Do they care that this generation is off the rails?
One of the saddest verses in all the Bible is when Jeremiah wrote, But they said, “We will not walk in it.” They either knew the truth or had access to it and yet they high-handedly rejected it. God commanded them to “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it…” But they refused to do it. He even offered them something they did not have, rest for your souls. These people were searching for rest and had no peace. Their “wound” (sin) was tormenting them. The prophet and priest, enslaved to the god of mammon, left them half-way healed of their sin problem, but God was saying to them directly… don’t listen to the false preachers, take it upon yourself to stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it.
As professing Christians become more worldly and liberal by the day there is a temptation to throw your hands up and give up. But that is exactly what the enemy wants. He wants the few people left who actually preach righteousness to succumb to the onslaught of attacks from all directions. He wants preachers of righteousness to feel ashamed for preaching it. If he can shame the true prophets and priests into shutting up — he has won the battle! The brazenness of this generation begs for judgment. God told the Israelites through Jeremiah, “Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown.” The servants of mammon (prophets, priests, etc.) are going to fall among the fallen. They preached about Jesus and Heaven but will be cast down with the enemy. Why? For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.
The love of money has silenced many of our pulpits and allowed evil to run rampant in society. Leonard Ravenhill once said that if Jesus came back He would not cleanse the Temple He would cleanse the pulpit. Hordes of the half-way healed are marching towards hell without as much as a peep from these priestly pretenders. May God give us preachers who will work for no pay if necessary and will faithfully deliver THUS SAITH THE LORD. We need the full dose of the Gospel that brings a full healing to our souls.