As I was studying Jeremiah Chapter 7, verses 8 and 9, I remembered some lyrics from an old song from 1970.  I remember way too many of the popular songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. I’ve always enjoyed Linda Ronstadt’s music. One of my favorite songs that she made famous is titled, “A Long, Long Time.” In this song she sings to a man she has loved for a long, long time but who had never loved her back. She says she has been living in the memory of the “love that never was.” In the course of her indictment of her false lover she says, “I can’t say you hurt me when you never let me near, and I never drew one response from you, all the while you fell all over girls you never knew.”

The last phrase of verse 9 is what brought this to mind. Jeremiah is speaking to God’s false lovers. God wanted nothing but an intimate loving relationship with his people but they weren’t interested. He did not draw the kind of response He wanted from them. They focused on ritual and rites and religious expressions but had no true heart for God. Jeremiah says that the people of Judah had forsaken their one true God and have been chasing “…after other gods that they have never known.”

That’s the hidden core of all temptation – the mysterious unknown! And what is even more attractive is the forbidden unknown! We are all there in some way and it began with Adam and Eve. We often wonder what was so attractive about a talking snake. But that was not the case. The Hebrew word in Genesis 3 that introduces us to Satan literally means “to shine.” As a noun it means “the shining one.” I guess that’s why Paul called Satan an “angel of light” in 2 Corinthians 11:14. Genesis calls him the most deceitful and beguiling creature in the world. He promises one thing but delivers another. He presents sin as something desirable hiding its ultimate destructive nature. But Jeremiah ends his indictment of Judah with the warning that following enticing, forbidden lovers will always end badly. It did for Judah and it will also end badly for us. Truly, all that glitters is not gold!