Jeremiah 13* The glory of the Jews should be marred. (1-11) All ranksshould suffer misery, An earnest exhortation to repentance.(12-17) An awful message to Jerusalem and its king. (18-27)1-11 It was usual with the prophets to teach by signs. And wehave the explanation, ver. #9-11|. The people of Israel had beento God as this girdle. He caused them to cleave to him by thelaw he gave them, the prophets he sent among them, and thefavours he showed them. They had by their idolatries and sinsburied themselves in foreign earth, mingled among the nations,and were so corrupted that they were good for nothing. If we areproud of learning, power, and outward privileges, it is justwith God to wither them. The minds of men should be awakened toa sense of their guilt and danger; yet nothing will be effectualwithout the influences of the Spirit. 12-17 As the bottle was fitted to hold the wine, so the sins ofthe people made them vessels of wrath, fitted for the judgmentsof God; with which they should be filled till they caused eachother's destruction. The prophet exhorts them to give glory toGod, by confessing their sins, humbling themselves inrepentance, and returning to his service. Otherwise they wouldbe carried into other countries in all the darkness of idolatryand wickedness. All misery, witnessed or foreseen, will affect afeeling mind, but the pious heart must mourn most over theafflictions of the Lord's flock. 18-27 Here is a message sent to king Jehoiakim, and his queen.Their sorrows would be great indeed. Do they ask, Wherefore comethese things upon us? Let them know, it is for their obstinacyin sin. We cannot alter the natural colour of the skin; and sois it morally impossible to reclaim and reform these people. Sinis the blackness of the soul; it is the discolouring of it; wewere shapen in it, so that we cannot get clear of it by anypower of our own. But Almighty grace is able to change theEthiopian's skin. Neither natural depravity, nor strong habitsof sin, form an obstacle to the working of God, the new-creatingSpirit. The Lord asks of Jerusalem, whether she is determinednot be made clean. If any poor slave of sin feels that he couldas soon change his nature as master his headstrong lusts, lethim not despair; for things impossible to men are possible withGod. Let us then seek help from Him who is mighty to save.
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