9/25 Jeremiah 2:8

8 The priests did not say, 'Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit.

As the nation of Judah declined morally, so its priests declined spiritually. There were a few prophets who were the exception. One of the most notable was Jeremiah. The message of the LORD through him was not an easy one to deliver. God had forewarned him that the people would not listen.

The priests weren't really bothered that the LORD'S presence seemed to be gone. They got use to operating on their own without Him. In fact, it was easier and less convicting. The law could be used to manipulate people for their benefit when the Spirit of the law is ignored. While the shepherds were supposed to lead in the way of righteousness as examples, they instead transgressed against the LORD.

Perhaps worst of all were the prophets who prophesied by false gods. The prophets were to be the voice of God before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Instead they had become the mouthpiece of the demonic. Instead of leading people in the path that leads to spiritual profit, they led them in ways of temporal gain that their hearts lusted after. These behaviors are the death knell of a nation. If they are ringing in your nation, stand firm. Don't settle for not having His presence, for pastors that don't know the LORD, or for shepherds that transgress. Don't associate with the prophets that run after things that don't profit. Worship the LORD in Spirit and in truth regardless of the direction of the culture in which you live.

Consider: The darker the night, the brighter a candle shines (Matthew 5:14-16).