Jeremiah 5:20-31 What will you do when the end comes?


Was God harsh in his judgment of the people of Israel?  It may sound harsh without the context of the promises given to Abraham fulfilled in their generation.  They possessed the Promised Land yet betrayed the Giver of the Promised Land, following after lifeless idols and satisfying their own desires.


God’s declaration points out the evil in their land.


21 “Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes, but see not,
    who have ears, but hear not.


First, they were spiritually blind – or spiritually dead.  They lived in spiritual denial and rejected all prophets who spoke the truth from God of coming judgment.  With all their religious talks, they refused to follow God.  They were so selfish in every way that they became foolish, stubborn, and callous.  Their hearts became cold and insensitive to God’s Word.


 22 Do you not fear me? declares the Lord.
    Do you not tremble before me?


Second, they had no reverence for God.  They did not give God glory for his work of creation.  Everything in God’s creation obeys Him except man.  It speaks so loudly of their corrupt thinking about themselves – somehow they thought so highly of themselves and gave themselves glory.  That is why pride is at the root of man’s sin.


24 They do not say in their hearts,
    ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
    the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
    the weeks appointed for the harvest.’


Third, they did not have gratitude in heart for God who provided for them and blessed them.  They refused to see the hand of God in their blessings and acknowledge that they could not live without God’s provisions.  They thought what they achieved in material wealth was all due to their great work.  They never thanked God the blessings they enjoyed.

28b They know no bounds in deeds of evil;
    they judge not with justice
the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper,
    and they do not defend the rights of the needy.


Fourth, God pointed directly at the selfish nature of their hearts and depth of corruption that loves evil.  They became so in love with looking out for themselves that they took advantage of the weak in their society: the fatherless and the needy.


30 An appalling and horrible thing
    has happened in the land:

31 the prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule at their direction;
my people love to have it so,

Lastly, the most appalling of all is corruption of the religious leaders.   They took advantage of the blindness of people and falsely led them astray.  They taught the people that everything was fine, and there was no judgment from God.  They loved to hear lies from their false prophets.


Isn’t this the world that we live in today?  Aren’t we caught up in this kind of lifestyle, or at least in certain times?


The question at the end of the last verse rang out throughout the land without any response from the people of Israel.  “What will you do when the end comes?”


What about you?  Will this remain as a rhetorical question?  Will we continue to live like them in our corrupt society?  How can we escape this life of sin destined for destruction?


In verse one, God told Jeremiah to find one man “who does justice and seeks truth that I may pardon her.”  We have the ONE MAN who is righteous – Jesus who came, died, resurrected and will come again to judge the world.  He came and took God’s judgment of sin on his shoulders – “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)


Trust in Jesus now. If you have accepted the grace of God, you are a new creation.  Do not continue to live your life like blind fools – a life that is hopeless, meaningless, and full of stress and anxiety.  Life in God is faith, joy, and love – freedom from condemnation of sin.  


“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matt 11:28-30)


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