Russell based his comment on the first reading: Jeremiah 23: 23-25. Jeremiah suffered rejection from the people because they chose not to follow God’s word. To study Jeremiah, one sees he is the true prophet who speaks God’s word rather than the false prophets who mislead the people through dreams. A true prophet is compared to wheat, while a false prophet is no more than worthless straw.
God did not want the Israelites to have another king because of past history. Even three of their kings: David, Solomon and Ezekiel had flawed character traits in spite of their good deeds. God saw that the actions of kinds were like shepherds who did not tend their flocks and allowed them to scatter and commit evil. God declared that he himself would gather again the flock and bring it back to his word.
In current times, people have turned away from God by the decisions of some judges. Their actions were not voted by the people. Their decision was to close God from anything such as school programs and sporting events by making prayer against the law. The reason they stated was to keep from offending any other groups. The United States is a Christian nation and has been blessed by God with the overall result of being good from its people.
Jeremiah had difficulty making people listen to him when the false prophets gave out false hope and illusions and statements that no harm would come to them. Israelites learned the hard way and they bore the brunt of their leaders as God scattered them all over the ends of the earth. The word of God is forever. One finds in history and now it is not good to step away from God.
God is in charge. He will not tolerate worship of other gods. Leaders are human and might think astray. The people who followed God did what they did by faith and wondered what might happen if they lost that faith. Punishment follows when one does not follow God. We are faced every day by groups who try to set margins between us and God.
Visitors and congregational members are advised that there will be only one service on Aug. 25 at 9:30 a.m. A called congregational meeting will be held following this service to discuss and vote on items which pertain to Good Shepherd Lutheran.