Paul wrote, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Rom. 15:4).
There is much to be learned by the mistakes of others. Seeing what others have done and the consequences of their actions ought to lead us to want to be as faithful as possible to God. Looking back to the Old Testament one can find lessons that need to be heeded today.
The prophet Jeremiah described Israel’s departure from God in Jeremiah 6:10-16: "To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the Lord is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. Therefore I am full of the fury of the Lord; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out upon the children abroad, and upon the assembly of young men together: for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him that is full of days. And their houses shall be turned unto others, with their fields and wives together: for I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord. For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein."
This passage shows just how stubborn and how insolent the people to whom Jeremiah preached really were. They had determined not to listen to the prophet’s words. Their lives were full of sin and they enjoyed wallowing in its mire.
Notice God speaks to their not blushing. Things for which they should have been ashamed, they felt no remorse. The punishment of God was going to come upon them, and they had no fear.
The people to whom Jeremiah preached refused to listen to God’s word. God’s word is given so that man can know the direction God desire’s him to follow.
Jeremiah wrote, "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). Thankfully man does not have to "direct his steps." God’s word is for all men to use as their guide. This word is a "lamp unto my feet and a light unto my pathway" (Psalm 119:105). Those to whom Jeremiah preached did not "delight" in the word.
Man’s reaction to God’s word should be joy. Knowing that God has provided the way of redemption so man can be justified in the sight of God should cause men today to "delight in God’s word." Many people do not "delight" in the word, but see it as a nuisance, or hindrance to what they desire to do. In doing this, men deceive themselves. Mankind must turn to God.