May 17, 2021

Brokenness over pride

Brokenness over pride

The people accuse Jeremiah the prophet of lying. Why? 

Greensburg Church of the Nazarene
31 Bluebird Lane, Greensburg, KY 42743

Christian Podcaster Association


**not a word for word transcript, but the sermon manuscript.




Matthew 5:14 says, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.” This verse is the mission statement of the Greensburg Church of the Nazarene. Where God has placed this building, our church is not designed to be hidden. 


By professing faith in Jesus, His light dwells in you. That makes you and me citizens of this city on a hill. We are citizen-soldiers serving in this outpost of the Kingdom of heaven. And as such, we need to be brave. At least that is what I have been telling you for the last year.


The first two values of a citizen of a city on a hill are: [pause to let someone answer] People over programs. Holiness over popularity. Just as our Lord came to save people, we exist to see people find redemption in Him. And we will not compromise the ways of God in the name discipleship.


Jeremiah 43:1-7


1 When Jeremiah finished speaking to all the people all these words of the Lord their God, with which the Lord their God, with which the Lord their God had sent him to them, 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the other insolent men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie. The Lord our God did not send you to say, ‘Do not go to Egypt to settle there; 3 but Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us, to hand us over to the Chaldeans, in order that they may kill us or take us into exile in Babylon.” 4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces and all the people did not obey the voice of the Lord, to stay in the land of Judah. 5 But Johnana son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to settle in the land of Judah form all the nations to which they had been driven—6 the men, the women, the children, the princesses, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shapan; also the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah. 7 And they came into the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the Lord. And they arrived at Tahpanhes. (NRSV)


This is the Word of God, for the people of God, thanks be to God.


Leading up to our text for today, in chapters 41 and 42. The king of Babylon had placed a governor over Jerusalem, where a remnant of God’s people remained. Someone murdered this governor, now the people feared the retribution for this act. They wished to flee to Egypt before the king’s wrath could unleashed, but before they left the people wanted God’s approval. So, they pleaded with Jeremiah to receive a word for them. Jeremiah received a word, and God told them not to leave.



IN THE TEXT: That is not what we wanted



The people get exactly what they wanted. Jeremiah went to God on their behalf, seeking His will on whether they should go or stay. And God responded. There was not a long drawn out wait, no mysterious sign that had to be interpreted. They wanted God’s approval to leave for Egypt, and the Lord responded, “no, stay put.” Since it was not the answer they wanted, Jeremiah must have been lying.


Jeremiah spoke the truth. The people did not want to accept it. They had already made up their mind, for their own safety they would go to Egypt. While they wanted to consult God, it is merely for His blessing on the path they had already chosen. All they wanted was for God to tell them what they wanted to hear. But God, through Jeremiah, told them to stay put.




This spirit of rebellion among God’s people is what got them in their current mess. They were conquered, many taken into exile, and their city in ruins because they refused to be obedient to the ways of God. Prophet after prophet tried to warn them to run from that path, but they refused. Now even after all the death and devastation, the heart of the people has not changed. Instead of following God’s will to stay put, they choose to leave.


Their disobedience put the prophet Jeremiah in a bad spot. No one really knows why, but Jeremiah goes with the people to Egypt. Whether it was willingly, “willingly”, or by force is unknown. But their disobedience carried the man of God with them.


FROM THE TEXT: That is exactly what is needed


So, what does this have to do with being a citizen on a city of a hill? To help us understand our third value, we must understand the sin of God’s people. It was pride. They knew God favored them, put pride convinced them they were incapable of doing no wrong. This pride was at the heart of all their disobedience. Rather than be broken over the devastation their sin caused, their pride continued them on a reckless path.


Pride must be cast aside for the Kingdom to grow. In John 12:24, Jesus said, “unless a grain of wheat call into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus was speaking of His death that would bring life to those who accept His gift. But the lesson for you and me is that God’s kingdom is grown through our brokenness. To humbly admit that God is God, and we are not. To be honest that we have fallen short of His glory, and when we fall short.



BEYOND THE TEXT: Brokenness over pride


Jesus told a parable in Luke 18 about what brokenness looks like. He tells of a Pharisee who went to the temple to pray. This self-righteous man prayed, “God, I thank you, that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like a tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay my tithe.” The Pharisee prayed, but it was only a parade of his own greatness. But then Jesus talked about a tax collector who also went to the temple to pray. When this tax collector prayed, he would not even look up, and begged God for mercy because he was a sinner. And it was the tax collector who went home justified because God values those who humble themselves in brokenness.


As citizens on a city of a hill we value brokenness over pride. If we want to see people redeemed and miracles happen through the power of God, then we must embrace our brokenness. Also, we need to celebrate those who come to these altars in their brokenness seeking God. No matter the reason.




God wants us to give everything to Him. But not in pride, rather in brokenness. The Apostle James wrote, “God gives greater grace. He opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” What has you broken this morning? Is it sin? Is it a situation? Humble yourself before God today, you will not find judgment but grace.