Jeremiah 5

* The Jews' profession of religion was hypocritical. (1-9) The

cruel proceedings of their enemies. (10-18) Their apostacy and

idolatry. (19-31)

1-9 None could be found who behaved as upright and godly men.

But the Lord saw the true character of the people through all

their disguises. The poor were ignorant, and therefore they were

wicked. What can be expected but works of darkness, from people

that know nothing of God and religion? There are God's poor,

who, notwithstanding poverty, know the way of the Lord, walk in

it, and do their duty; but these were willingly ignorant, and

their ignorance would not be their excuse. The rich were

insolent and haughty, and the abuse of God's favours made their

sin worse.
10-18 Multitudes are ruined by believing that God will not be

so strict as his word says he will; by this artifice Satan undid

mankind. Sinners are not willing to own any thing to be God's

word, that tends to part them from, or to disquiet them in,

their sins. Mocking and misusing the Lord's messengers, filled

the measure of their iniquity. God can bring trouble upon us

from places and causes very remote. He has mercy in store for

his people, therefore will set bounds to this desolating

judgment. Let us not overlook the "nevertheless," ver. #18|.

This is the Lord's covenant with Israel. He thereby proclaims

his holiness, and his utter displeasure against sin while

sparing the sinner, #Ps 89:30-35|.
19-31 Unhumbled hearts are ready to charge God with being

unjust in their afflictions. But they may read their sin in

their punishment. If men will inquire wherefore the Lord doeth

hard things unto them, let them think of their sins. The

restless waves obeyed the Divine decree, that they should not

pass the sandy shores, which were as much a restraint as lofty

mountains; but they burst all restraints of God's law, and were

wholly gone into wickedness. Neither did they consider their

interest. While the Lord, year after year, reserves to us the

appointed weeks of harvest, men live on his bounty; yet they

transgress against him. Sin deprives us of God's blessings; it

makes the heaven as brass, and the earth as iron. Certainly the

things of this world are not the best things; and we are not to

think, that, because evil men prosper, God allows their

practices. Though sentence against evil works is not executed

speedily, it will be executed. Shall I not visit for these

things? This speaks the certainty and the necessity of God's

judgments. Let those who walk in bad ways consider that an end

will come, and there will be bitterness in the latter end.

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