Jeremiah 40

* Jeremiah is directed to go to Gedaliah. (1-6) A conspiracy

against Gedaliah. (7-16)

1-6 The captain of the guard seems to glory that he had been

God's instrument to fulfil, what Jeremiah had been God's

messenger to foretell. Many can see God's justice and truth with

regard to others, who are heedless and blind as to themselves

and their own sins. But, sooner or later, all men shall be made

sensible that their sin is the cause of all their miseries.

Jeremiah has leave to dispose of himself; but is advised to go

to Gedaliah, governor of the land under the king of Babylon. It

is doubtful whether Jeremiah acted right in this decision. But

those who desire the salvation of sinners, and the good of the

church, are apt to expect better times from slight appearances,

and they will prefer the hope of being useful, to the most

secure situations without it.
7-16 Jeremiah had never in his prophecies spoken of any good

days for the Jews, to come immediately after the captivity; yet

Providence seemed to encourage such an expectation. But how soon

is this hopeful prospect blighted! When God begins a judgment,

he will complete it. While pride, ambition, or revenge, bears

rule in the heart, men will form new projects, and be restless

in mischief, which commonly ends in their own ruin. Who would

have thought, that after the destruction of Jerusalem, rebellion

would so soon have sprung up? There can be no thorough change

but what grace makes. And if the miserable, who are kept in

everlasting chains for the judgment of the great day, were again

permitted to come on earth, the sin and evil of their nature

would be unchanged. Lord, give us new hearts, and that new mind

in which the new birth consists, since thou hast said we cannot

without it see thy heavenly kingdom.

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