“‘Go now to the place at Shiloh where I once put the Tabernacle that bore my name. See what I did there because of all the wickedness of my people, the Israelites. While you were doing these wicked things, says the Lord, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer. So just as I destroyed Shiloh, I will now destroy this Temple that bears my name, this Temple that you trust in for help, this place that I gave to you and your ancestors. And I will send you out of my sight into exile, just as I did your relatives, the people of Israel. “Jeremiah 7:12-15
Shiloh was the central city of Israel – the religious center – for almost 400 years. It was the place where the tabernacle of meeting and the altar of God stayed for this long period. Shiloh enjoyed all this glory for hundreds of years, but it came to an end abruptly. First, when the Philistines overran Shiloh (1 Samuel 4); finally when the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom of Israel many years after that (Psalm 78:58-60). By Jeremiah’s day Shiloh had been in ruins for a long time, and it showed that hosting the house of God or the Ark of the Covenant did not mean that judgment was impossible. As it came to Shiloh, it could come to an unrepentant Jerusalem. When Jeremiah told the people to go to Shiloh he was telling them to go to the place where God is not. Judah’s greatest sin was ignoring the word of God so plainly and persistently brought to them. This made them without excuse. Therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust as I have done to Shiloh. God promised to bring the same judgment to Jerusalem that came upon Shiloh.
God used Shiloh as a lesson. “Go to Shiloh,” He says. “Look what happened to a place of spiritual privilege and glory when they forgot about Me. The same will happen to you if you do not turn again to Me.” Many cities today are filled with empty and decrepit old churches; these are like Shiloh – places where God was once worshipped and honored, but no more. The lesson should be sealed in our hearts, no matter how much spiritual progress, or privilege, or glory one might have, it can all be turned to nothing if we stop listening to God and cultivating our relationship with Him. Wake up America!