Jeremiah 5

No One is Just

Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem. Look now and take note; search her squares. If you can find a single person, [anyone] who acts justly, [anyone] who seeks the truth, then I will forgive [the city] . Although they say, “As surely as the LORD lives,” they are swearing falsely. O LORD, do not Your eyes [look] for truth? You struck them, but they felt no pain. You finished them off, but they refused to accept discipline. They have made their faces harder than stone and refused to repent. Then I said, “They are only the poor; they have played the fool, for they do not know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God. I will go to the powerful and speak to them. Surely they know the way of the LORD, the justice of their God. But they too, with one accord, had broken the yoke and torn off the chains. Therefore a lion from the forest will strike them down, a wolf from the desert will ravage them. A leopard will lie in wait near their cities, [and] everyone who ventures out will be torn to pieces. For their rebellious acts are many, [and] their unfaithful deeds are numerous. “Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken Me and sworn by [gods] that are not gods. I satisfied their needs, yet they committed adultery and assembled at the houses of prostitutes. They are well-fed, lusty stallions, each neighing after his neighbor’s wife. Should I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD. “Should I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this? 10  Go up through her vineyards and ravage them, but do not finish them off. Strip off her branches, for they do not belong to the LORD. 11  For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to Me,” declares the LORD. 12  They have lied about the LORD and said, “He will not do anything; harm will not come to us; we will not see sword or famine. 13  The prophets are but wind, for the LORD’s word is not in them. So let [their own words] be done to them.”

Judgment Proclaimed

14  Therefore this is what the Lord GOD of Hosts says: “Because you have spoken this word, I will make My words a fire in your mouth and this people the wood it will consume. 15  Behold, I am bringing a distant nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD. “It is an established nation, an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know and whose speech you do not understand. 16  Their quivers are like open graves; they are all mighty warriors. 17  They will devour your harvest and food; they will consume your sons and daughters; they will eat up your flocks and herds; they will feed on your vines and fig trees. With the sword they will destroy the fortified cities in which you trust. 18  Yet even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. 19  And when the people ask, ‘For what offense has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ You are to tell them, ‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so will you serve foreigners in a land that is not your own.’ 20  Declare this in the house of Jacob and proclaim it in Judah: 21  Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear. 22  Do you not fear Me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before Me, the One who set the sand as the boundary of the sea, an enduring barrier it cannot cross? The waves surge, but they cannot prevail. They roar but cannot cross it. 23  But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and gone away. 24  They have not said in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rains, both autumn and spring, in season, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of harvest.’ 25  Your iniquities have diverted these from you; your sins have deprived you of My bounty. 26  For My people are among wicked men. They watch like fowlers lying in wait; they set a trap; they catch men. 27  Like cages full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become powerful and rich. 28  They have grown fat and sleek, and have excelled in evil matters. They have not taken up the cause of the fatherless, so they might prosper, nor have they defended the rights of the needy. 29  Should I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD. Should I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this? 30  A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land. 31  The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority. My people love it so, but what will you do in the end?”
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