Jeremiah 4

* Exhortations and promises. (1-2) Judah exhorted to repentance.

(3-4) Judgements denounced. (5-18) The approaching ruin of

Judah. (19-31)

1,2 The first two verses should be read with the last chapter.

Sin must be put away out of the heart, else it is not put away

out of God's sight, for the heart is open before him.
3,4 An unhumbled heart is like ground untilled. It is ground

which may be improved; it is our ground let out to us; but it is

fallow; it is over-grown with thorns and weeds, the natural

product of the corrupt heart. Let us entreat the Lord to create

in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us; for

except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of

5-18 The fierce conqueror of the neighbouring nations was to

make Judah desolate. The prophet was afflicted to see the people

lulled into security by false prophets. The approach of the

enemy is described. Some attention was paid in Jerusalem to

outward reformation; but it was necessary that their hearts

should be washed, in the exercise of true repentance and faith,

from the love and pollution of sin. When lesser calamities do

not rouse sinners and reform nations, sentence will be given

against them. The Lord's voice declares that misery is

approaching, especially against wicked professors of the gospel;

when it overtakes them, it will be plainly seen that the fruit

of wickedness is bitter, and the end is fatal.
19-31 The prophet had no pleasure in delivering messages of

wrath. He is shown in a vision the whole land in confusion.

Compared with what it was, every thing is out of order; but the

ruin of the Jewish nation would not be final. Every end of our

comforts is not a full end. Though the Lord may correct his

people very severely, yet he will not cast them off. Ornaments

and false colouring would be of no avail. No outward privileges

or profession, no contrivances would prevent destruction. How

wretched the state of those who are like foolish children in the

concerns of their souls! Whatever we are ignorant of, may the

Lord make of good understanding in the ways of godliness. As sin

will find out the sinner, so sorrow will, sooner or later, find

out the secure.

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