Jeremiah 2

* God expostulates with his people. (1-8) Their revolt beyond

example. (9-13) Guilt the cause of sufferings. (14-19) The sins

of Judah. (20-28) Their false confidence. (29-37)

1-8 Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly be

upbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those who

desert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who never

knew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritual

Israel must own their obligations to him for safe conduct

through the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul.

Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so live

that their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be careful

that we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge.
9-13 Before God punishes sinners, he pleads with them, to bring

them to repentance. He pleads with us, what we should plead with

ourselves. Be afraid to think of the wrath and curse which will

be the portion of those who throw themselves out of God's grace

and favour. Grace in Christ is compared to water from a

fountain, it being cooling and refreshing, cleansing and making

fruitful: to living water, because it quickens dead sinners,

revives drooping saints, supports and maintains spiritual life,

and issues in eternal life, and is ever-flowing. To forsake this

Fountain is the first evil; this is done when the people of God

neglect his word and ordinances. They hewed them out broken

cisterns, that could hold no water. Such are the world, and the

things in it; such are the inventions of men when followed and

depended on. Let us, with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lord

only; whither else shall we go? How prone are we to forego the

consolations of the Holy Spirit, for the worthless joys of the

enthusiast and hypocrite!
14-19 Is Israel a servant? No, they are the seed of Abraham. We

may apply this spiritually: Is the soul of man a slave? No, it

is not; but has sold its own liberty, and enslaved itself to

divers lusts and passions. The Assyrian princes, like lions,

prevailed against Israel. People from Egypt destroyed their

glory and strength. They brought these calamities on themselves

by departing from the Lord. The use and application of this is,

Repent of thy sin, that thy correction may not be thy ruin. What

has a Christian to do in the ways of forbidden pleasure or vain

sinful mirth, or with the pursuits of covetousness and ambition?
20-28 Notwithstanding all their advantages, Israel had become

like the wild vine that bears poisonous fruit. Men are often as

much under the power of their unbridled desires and their sinful

lusts, as the brute beasts. But the Lord here warns them not to

weary themselves in pursuits which could only bring distress and

misery. As we must not despair of the mercy of God, but believe

that to be sufficient for the pardon of our sins, so neither

must we despair of the grace of God, but believe that it is able

to subdue our corruptions, though ever so strong.
29-37 The nation had not been wrought upon by the judgements of

God, but sought to justify themselves. The world is, to those

who make it their home and their portion, a wilderness and a

land of darkness; but those who dwell in God, have the lines

fallen to them in pleasant places. Here is the language of

presumptuous sinners. The Jews had long thrown off serious

thoughts of God. How many days of our lives pass without

suitable remembrance of him! The Lord was displeased with their

confidences, and would not prosper them therein. Men employ all

their ingenuity, but cannot find happiness in the way of sin, or

excuse for it. They may shift from one sin to another, but none

ever hardened himself against God, or turned from him, and

prospered.

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