Audio Worship "Have You No Shame?" Jeremiah 6.13-15

Princeton Presbyterian Church (EPC) Sermon # 1600

August 13, 2023

Jeremiah 6.13-15         Click here for audio worship.

Dr. Ed Pettus


“Have You No Shame?”


13For from the least to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. 14They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 15Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,” says the Lord.


  • None Righteous, No Not One


As we have seen in the book of Jeremiah, God is laying out His case against a sinful people. Jeremiah has been charged with the prophetic role of announcing the indictments. The judgment is coming as we read in the first chapter of Jeremiah, See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow…” (Jeremiah 1.10). But there is good news in the pronouncement because that same verse concludes with to build and to plant.” God deals with Israel’s sin in giving the appropriate punishment, but God also will display His grace in building and planting, that is, restoring Israel in relationship with God as God does throughout history. The same holds true for us as God sent Jesus Christ to restore us to Himself by Jesus taking our sins to the cross, on Himself in order that we might live in relationship with God.

In this short reading from Jeremiah 6 we see nothing but bad things in Israel. Every one is greedy for gain, they deal falsely, they lie, and to make matters worse, they don’t have any shame in wrongdoing. Sounds a lot like what we see going on in the world today in a variety of professions and sectors of society. But this is nothing new. We should not be overly alarmed at sin in the world. Paul speaks of all our sin in Romans 3.10-18,


10as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15“Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16in their paths are ruin and misery,
17and the way of peace they have not known.” 18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”


We should note that this word from Paul about no one being righteous is a quote from the Old Testament in two places, Psalm 14.1-3 & Psalm 53.1-3.


The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. 2The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. 3They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one. (Psalm 14.1-3)


But Paul adds a bunch more Old Testament quotes in the Romans passage to demonstrate how corrupt people can become. What Paul and Jeremiah knew is that sin runs deep in the human condition and God deals with sin in order to lead people to repent and turn back to God.



  • Lying Through Your Teeth


I want to highlight one sin in particular from Jeremiah. It is verse 14 - 14They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.

When we hear someone say something that we know is completely false, we use that expression, “they are lying through their teeth.” How many lies do we hear every day from various sources. It may be the government telling us that everything is just fine while gas prices sky rocket. It may be the medical field telling us that they have everything under control in a pandemic. The lies build a build until we find it hard to find the truth. The economy is growing? Yeah, sure. How many times have we heard from either political party the line, “that was the last administration’s fault”. The guy trying to sell you a car, “Yeah, this car’s odometer is accurate”. The one who borrowed money from you, “I’ll pay you back”. The one I hear quite often, “Sure, I’ll come visit your church on Sunday”. Or one of the worst, “This golf gadget will correct your swing”! Sometimes it is the ongoing story of telling a lie enough times to get everyone to eventually believe the lie is truth.

Verse 14 is one of the worst kind of lies… 14They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. Whoever tells this kind of lie is doing just enough to appease the wounded or the oppressed or the gullible or the citizen in order to remain in power or sell us something we do not need or something else. There is no healing at all, only telling us what we want to hear or worse, telling us something that is not true knowing all along it is not true. Peace, peace when there is no peace. Nothing to see here when there is everything to see here. Trust us because we give you the news you need to hear! All healing lightly, all truly deceptive, all lying through their teeth.

Now, I don’t want to be a total pessimist here, but Jeremiah certainly reveals what God saw in His people then and what we also see in the world today. There is nothing new under the sun. Sin and darkness have a stronghold in the world and in various sectors of society. We wonder if things can get any worse and then the next day arrives and something worst still also comes to the forefront. And yet, Jeremiah’s prophetic word gets even worse for the sinners.


  • Have You No Shame?


What could be worse than being greedy or lying, well, how about no shame in sin. 15Were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed; they did not know how to blush.

When God is no longer honored or praised or followed, when rules and commandments and statutes of God no longer apply, when any sense of morality is absent, when God is forsaken, when abominations are rampant, judgment will come. So many abominations are prevalent today from the sexual immorality to the notion that all people have their own individual truths. “Don’t tell me God’s truth is greater than ‘my truth’”. You do you and I will do me. This is what leads to the Jeremiah indictments that everyone deals falsely and people lie like it is no big deal. Society breaks down and the fabric of Christian national consciousness is destroyed.

It is bad enough that people are buying into the lie that make and female are no linger distinctions to be made, but the fact that they have no shame about any of this is astonishing. It is amazing that Jeremiah speaks of people who have forgotten how to blush and that is precisely what we see every day. Jeremiah also speaks of this in Jeremiah 3.3, saying that people refuse to be ashamed. How sad to practice sin in obvious ways and then to refuse to be ashamed. How sad to sin in obvious ways and be proud of it. Don’t know how to blush.


Those of us who believe in God and trust Jesus as Savior and Lord have shame when we do something shameful, when we sin against God, when we sin against another person, when we do anything that we are sorry to have done. That is the meaning of having shame, of blushing, of being embarrassed by the wrong doing. But too many people do not know God, do not know God’s commandments, and do not care to know. What is so egregious about Israel was they did know and should have known and yet did not care to act accordingly. In rejecting God, they forgot God and were not ashamed of their rebellion. It is an interesting phrase, “They did not know how to blush”. This is evidence of no fear of God, no concern for God’s path, no respect for what is right. The warning in Jeremiah is that those who have no shame for rejecting God will fall, will be punished, and will be overthrown.

So what does that mean for us? Where is the good news? How do we stay away from lack of shame. In the gospel of John we read that and quote this line often – you will know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Let’s take a brief look at the context of that line.


31So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” 34Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8.31-36)


Notice that Jesus is addressing Jews who believed in Him. Abiding in Jesus’ Word sets us free. Free from what? Free from being a slave to sin. Back in Jeremiah, Israel became a slave to sin to the point that they were not even ashamed of their sin. So they lied and were greedy and lots of other sins. Those who lie either do not know the truth or know it but refuse to abide by it. Jesus came to wash away that sin and shame and remove the guilt. In so doing, He invites us to follow Him and remember the deeds of the Lord so that we will be constantly reminded of what God has done for us and turn to Him in gratitude and praise.

And you might recall hearing the words of Jude several Sundays ago. We are called to snatch as many people out of this trap of sin and shamelessness as possible.


Jude 17-23, 17But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22And have mercy on those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.


We participate in snatching people out of the fire by telling the truth of God’s Word, sharing the gospel, and therefore, pulling the shameless out of the judgment of God. God does the plucking up and breaking down in order that people may be built back up in righteousness. Jeremiah is not just about nations but also about people, individuals who have forgotten how to blush and the good news is that Jesus is calling people back to God by trusting in Him and renewing their ability to know right from wrong and rebuilding their capacity for blushing at wrong doing.

We, as the church, are called to be those witnesses to the Christ, who gave His life so that all who believe and confess Him might be brought back into the family of God, cleansed, renewed, able to blush at wrong doing! It can be painful for some to come to Jesus because they come to see that their actions are shameful. But on the other side of shame, with repentance, there is grace and forgiveness and joy. On the other side of prophetic words there is building up and planting. On the other side of the cross and resurrection, there is life. That is our message to the broken world of shameless sin. Jesus has paid the price of sin and saves the sinner from the darkness. Draw from Jeremiah to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Perhaps we can help snatch a few out of the fire! Amen.