Jeremiah 2* God expostulates with his people. (1-8) Their revolt beyondexample. (9-13) Guilt the cause of sufferings. (14-19) The sinsof Judah. (20-28) Their false confidence. (29-37)1-8 Those who begin well, but do not persevere, will justly beupbraided with their hopeful and promising beginnings. Those whodesert religion, commonly oppose it more than those who neverknew it. For this they could have no excuse. God's spiritualIsrael must own their obligations to him for safe conductthrough the wilderness of this world, so dangerous to the soul.Alas, that many, who once appeared devoted to the Lord, so livethat their professions aggravate their crimes! Let us be carefulthat we do not lose in zeal and fervency, as we gain knowledge. 9-13 Before God punishes sinners, he pleads with them, to bringthem to repentance. He pleads with us, what we should plead withourselves. Be afraid to think of the wrath and curse which willbe the portion of those who throw themselves out of God's graceand favour. Grace in Christ is compared to water from afountain, it being cooling and refreshing, cleansing and makingfruitful: 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 thisFountain is the first evil; this is done when the people of Godneglect his word and ordinances. They hewed them out brokencisterns, that could hold no water. Such are the world, and thethings in it; such are the inventions of men when followed anddepended on. Let us, with purpose of heart, cleave to the Lordonly; whither else shall we go? How prone are we to forego theconsolations of the Holy Spirit, for the worthless joys of theenthusiast and hypocrite! 14-19 Is Israel a servant? No, they are the seed of Abraham. Wemay apply this spiritually: Is the soul of man a slave? No, itis not; but has sold its own liberty, and enslaved itself todivers lusts and passions. The Assyrian princes, like lions,prevailed against Israel. People from Egypt destroyed theirglory and strength. They brought these calamities on themselvesby departing from the Lord. The use and application of this is,Repent of thy sin, that thy correction may not be thy ruin. Whathas a Christian to do in the ways of forbidden pleasure or vainsinful mirth, or with the pursuits of covetousness and ambition? 20-28 Notwithstanding all their advantages, Israel had becomelike the wild vine that bears poisonous fruit. Men are often asmuch under the power of their unbridled desires and their sinfullusts, as the brute beasts. But the Lord here warns them not toweary themselves in pursuits which could only bring distress andmisery. As we must not despair of the mercy of God, but believethat to be sufficient for the pardon of our sins, so neithermust we despair of the grace of God, but believe that it is ableto subdue our corruptions, though ever so strong. 29-37 The nation had not been wrought upon by the judgements ofGod, but sought to justify themselves. The world is, to thosewho make it their home and their portion, a wilderness and aland of darkness; but those who dwell in God, have the linesfallen to them in pleasant places. Here is the language ofpresumptuous sinners. The Jews had long thrown off seriousthoughts of God. How many days of our lives pass withoutsuitable remembrance of him! The Lord was displeased with theirconfidences, and would not prosper them therein. Men employ alltheir ingenuity, but cannot find happiness in the way of sin, orexcuse for it. They may shift from one sin to another, but noneever hardened himself against God, or turned from him, andprospered.
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