THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part XIV: A Gracious God's Judgment For Judah's Shocking Sins
A. One of the great charges against the Old Testament God is that He is a God of wrath, not grace.
B. However, Jeremiah 5:7-31 reveals that even in the context of judgment for His peoples' shocking sins, God is a very gracious Lord, and we view this passage for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. A Gracious God's Judgment For Judah's Shocking Sins, Jeremiah 5:7-31.
A. God in grace planned to judge Judah for her shocking idolatry and immorality, Jeremiah 5:7-11:
1. The Lord asked why He should forgive the people of Judah, for they had forsaken Him and sworn by false gods versus the true God, a shocking form of spiritual immorality in its idolatry, Jeremiah 5:7a.
2. Also, God noted though He had met all their needs, Judah's men committed vile immorality, Jer. 5:7b-8:
a. Forgetting God's supply of their needs, Judah's men had thronged to the houses of prostitutes, Jer. 5:7b.
b. Likening them to well-fed stallions who energetically built up their lusts, God said they neighed like stallions would do in desiring to mate for any female horse, lusting after the wives of other men, Jer. 5:8.
c. Accordingly, the Lord graciously asked if He shouldn't punish them for such shocking sins, avenging Himself of a nation like this, Jer. 5:9. (Immorality is ultimately a shocking sin against God, Gen. 39:7-9!)
3. Because of such shocking wickedness, God directed that Judah like a vineyard was to be ravaged in judgment, having her branches stripped off by a foreign, invading nation, for this people of His in Judah did not really belong to the Lord, but they had proved to be utterly unfaithful to Him, Jeremiah 5:10-11.
B. God in grace planned to judge Judah for her shocking rejection of His upright prophets' words, Jer. 5:12-19:
1. Judah's people had also lied about Him, claiming that He would do nothing so that no harm would come to them in the form of the sword or famine due to a foreign invasion, Jeremiah 5:12.
2. Instead, they asserted that God's prophets like Jeremiah were only like the wind that blows but carries nothing substantively true, that the Word of God was not really in them, that the troubles these prophets were predicting would come on Judah were instead to be done unto the prophets themselves, Jer. 5:13.
3. Angered at such rebellion against His prophets' words, God claimed that He would make the words in Jeremiah's mouth a fire that would consume His people like fire consumes wood in judgment, Jer. 5:14.
4. Those words were words of the coming judgment of the foreign nation that would utterly consume their possessions and destroy their entire way of life much as fire totally consumes wood, Jeremiah 5:15-17.
5. Yet, even in such judgment, God would graciously not annihilate Judah, but preserve her to where her people would admit that their sins had led to their land's invasion and their captivity, Jeremiah 5:18-19.
C. God in grace planned to judge Judah for her lack of respect for Him that was behind her sins, Jer. 5:20-29:
1. Addressing the spiritually calloused people of Judah, God complained about the heart of their rebellion against Him, a lack of respect for Him and for His authority, Jeremiah 5:20-22a.
2. He was the Lord Who had graciously held back the seas so man might live on the earth, but the people of Judah had stubbornly neglected to revere Him and His provisions for their livelihoods, Jeremiah 5:22b-24.
3. Instead, they had sinned so that God had to remove His livelihood provisions, sins such as trapping other people by deceit so as to become rich at abusing the poor and the vulnerable, Jeremiah 5:25-28.
4. Thus, the Lord graciously asked if He should not punish Judah and avenge Himself of such sins, Jer. 5:29.
D. God in grace planned to judge Judah for her shocking rejection of His Word and authority, Jer. 5:30-31:
1. A final very shocking sin in the land was the turning of Judah's people to prophets who prophesied lies and to priests who ruled by their own authority instead of God's authority, Jeremiah 5:30-31a NIV.
2. On top of it all, Judah's people loved living this way in haughty rebellion against the Lord, Jer. 5:31b.
3. Yet, God still graciously asked how they would handle His judgment when it exposed the error of such leaders, producing terror and great disillusionment in the people, Jer. 5:31c. Even in reacting to their utter rejection of His Word and authority, God was concerned about how Judah would handle His punishment!
Lesson: In vast contrast to Judah's shocking sins that would lead to God's judgment, the Lord still graciously considered the awful effects of His judgment, still showing care in asking if He should not judge such great sins.
Application: May we confess our sins, knowing God loves to forgive, but that He will otherwise severely punish us.