What is the name in your center?Jeremiah 17:1-4$B-5(B The cultus religion
Chapter 17 is treating fragmentary various subjects, but I want to take up one problem which affects a cultus of Judah in Verse 1-4, "a sin and punishment of Judah", from there. Because, this is one of the central problem which people are having today. We'll take a look including what means that problem.
Cultus worship of Judah has been treated many times until now; but Jeremiah seems to portray a faith of altar of Judah here. There is it, "(The sin of Judah) is written down with an iron stylus; (with a diamond point) it is engraved (upon the tablet of their heart)." (1). Because, if (the sin of Judah) (upon the tablet of their heart) (with a diamond) are omitted here, it is thought that a state of the cultus of Judah will animate. Perhaps, on the horns of the altar, the name of Yahweh would have been carved with a brush of stiff iron. About the structure of the altar, it is written down in Exodus Chapter 27 in detail; but, here, "only horns" attached to on the four corners of the altar have been taken up. It is not clear what these horns mean, but, because the horn of the animal symbolizes power, it might be symbolized power and authority of God. The horns would be a center of the altar. In Amos, there is it, "I will also punish the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off, and they will fall to the ground." (3:14); but, "the horns of the altar will be cut off", it shows that an altar is destroyed. Both the prayer to their God and the tears face the horns of the altar. It was their faith. The divine message of Jeremiah was talked mainly to cultus religion of Judah on this altar. The faith of Judah was cultivated traditionally by cultus worship. Their religion was cultus religion basically.
Originally, its cultus was a very simple thing, and it was piled up on a native rock as a token of thanks to Yahweh and offered a votive offering on the rock as an outcome of the faith; and the rock which was offered a votive offering became the altar before long. In such a simple altar, a color of east culture seems to ooze out. However, after an altar has been made once, probably because it had effect of the religion of the neighborhood race including Cannan, altar itself has connected directly with the faith of Yahweh. When people of Judah visited the shrine of Jerusalem and offered a votive offering on an altar, they believed that their sin became the cancellation. In this case of offerings of painting blood of animals on the horns of the altar, probably, it would be the ritual of atonement. When we look at the Exodus and Leviticus, etc., we can watch that it was established as cultus religious rituals through the tabernacle age, indeed. The temple of Jerusalem had taken over that cultus rituals.
$B-6(B Yahweh and gods
As for the old ritual worship which Moses and Abraham left behind, it would have had some sense at that time period, and it would have been accepted by God; but when it went down to the era of Jeremiah, such cultus worship had spread to the one containing the god Baal and the goddess Ishtar. Would many altars have formed a line in a shrine, or would one altar have been recycled by other gods? Probably, priests would have each gods, too. The text of this morning seemed to be the last years of king Jehoiakim, but the reformation of king Josiah all became invalid, and the shrine of Jerusalem became repository of various gods, and Yahweh was in the same line with other gods. "As they remember their children, so they remember their altars, and their Asherim by green trees on the high hills." (2); this means it. Asherah statue was a goddess representing the Canaanite religion, and it was made a wooden pole on top of the high hill everywhere, and at there, sex with whore and prostitute seems to have been done, to hope the fertility of crops around. Would the prostitute or whore have been a sibyl? Such tendency has penetrated into the shrine of Jerusalem. Because it was a thing in ancient society and also had a problem involving the temple, modern people have a trend putting itself off target as irrelevant to that matter. However, similar blind faith which can not say to "such devotion to gods is a superstition!", and immoral associated with it; no, would not it be able to say more serious sin would try to wrap the modern society? Horns of the altar which is said here, not only the ancient Jews, but it is also involved to us today. Horns of the altar were the center of their Jews. It is also the center of us. Now, what will we be going to carve in its center? We'll have to remember that it has been questioned to us.
When removes the preceding parentheses from Verse 1, it becomes thus, (The sin of Judah) is written down with an iron stylus; (with a diamond point) it is engraved (upon the tablet of their heart), and on the horns of their alters,"; the sin of Judah which was done under the altar carved with the name of Yahweh has been severely condemned, and it will be clear to us, too. The name of the gods of Baal and Asherah and Ishtar had been carved next to the name of Yahweh on the horns of the altar. To Judas, who boasts to the world that they are chosen by Yahweh, an incredible thing had happened. Most intention of the world religion is such directions, but, for people knowing Israel, it looks only the corruption. "As they remember their children, so they remember their altars and their Asherim by green trees on the high hills."; it would be said that their sin will be revealing to the people of that era, and also to the people of the world, and of afterworld. Yes, it is; the Babylonian captivity of the people of Judah was decided as punishment of God, and it also became known to the people of the whole world and to us today.
$B-7(B What is the name in your center?
The misery of Jews which became known to the world, it is not only by the events of Ancient Babylonian captivity, but it is known all over the world in recent years by Aushubyuttsu massacre by the Nazis. Jews have lamented such their misery, because it was their sins that they neglected to engrave the name of Yahweh on the horns of the altar. In front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, we are able to see the people even now beating the chest in tears. However, the one who carved a different name on the horns of the altar is not only just the Jews.
What is the name which has been carved on the horns of the altar in the center of us?, perhaps, it will be different individually. Or even, the center which carved its name on the horns of the altar may not be a specific religion or a pseudo-religion, at least, ("Spiritualism of religion", it has occurred like bamboo shoots after rain now, and it seems to speak a return to the religion of modern man); but, perhaps, most of them might be some contemporary thoughts, or might be ego. However, the name which was carved into its center is against to God, Yahweh. Yahweh is the name of God that has been treasured since ancient times by the Jews, but, He is not only God of Jews. He is only omnipotent God who created heaven and earth and human, and He is wanting to give His blessing to us. The name which is carved in the center of us is not the name of God who has blown the breath of life to us, it is a problem of modern people. However, please remember, our salvation comes from Him. We will be able to say that He is the Christ of the Lord (the Messiah) who was hanged over the cross and has been bleeding for our sin. "Chris$B#t(Bians (similar people to Christ)", it has been said that it refers to the people who carved His name in the center of the heart until now.
Now, Jeremiah does not say that far, but it is said, "I will over your wealth and all your borders. Your high places for sin throughout your borders, and you will, even of your self, let go of you inheritance that I gave you; and I will make you serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever." (3-4), now, in the background which is concerning that "destruction / chaos" spread out more and more in this age, it will be mentioned that the name which was carved in the center of us is not our God (the Messiah). It is nothing more than our sins. Please remember the burning anger of God toward sin.