Jeremiah 6

1 “Flee for safety, you children of Benjamin, out of the middle of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa, and raise up a signal on Beth Haccherem; for evil looks out from the north, and a great destruction. 2 I will cut off the comely and delicate one, the daughter of Zion. 3 Shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her all around; they shall feed everyone in his place.” 4 “Prepare war against her; arise, and let us go up at noon. Woe to us! For the day declines, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out. 5 Arise, and let us go up by night, and let us destroy her palaces.” 6 For the LORD of Armies said, “Cut down trees, and cast up a mound against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression within her. 7 As a well produces its waters, so she produces her wickedness: violence and destruction is heard in her; before me continually is sickness and wounds. 8 Be instructed, Jerusalem, lest my soul be alienated from you; lest I make you a desolation, a land not inhabited.” 9 the LORD of Armies says, “They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel like a vine. Turn again your hand as a grape gatherer into the baskets.” 10 To whom shall I speak and testify, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they can’t listen. Behold, the LORD’s word has become a reproach to them. They have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the LORD’s wrath. I am weary with holding in. “Pour it out on the children in the street, and on the assembly of young men together; for even the husband with the wife shall be taken, the aged with him who is full of days. 12 Their houses shall be turned to others, their fields and their wives together; for I will stretch out my hand on the inhabitants of the land, says the LORD.” 13 “For from their least even to their greatest, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely. 14 They have healed also the hurt of my people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall amongst those who fall; at the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down,” says the LORD. 16 the LORD says, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, ‘Where is the good way?’ and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ 17 I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen!’ 18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, congregation, what is amongst them. 19 Hear, earth! Behold, I will bring evil on this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not listened to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it. 20 To what purpose comes there to me frankincense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.” 21 Therefore the LORD says, “Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people. The fathers and the sons together shall stumble against them. The neighbor and his friend shall perish.” 22 the LORD says, “Behold, a people comes from the north country. A great nation shall be stirred up from the uttermost parts of the earth. 23 They take hold of bow and spear. They are cruel, and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea, and they ride on horses, everyone set in array, as a man to the battle, against you, daughter of Zion.” 24 We have heard its report; our hands become feeble: anguish has taken hold of us, and pains as of a woman in labor. 25 Don’t go out into the field, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and terror, are on every side. 26 Daughter of my people, clothe yourself with sackcloth, and wallow in ashes! Mourn, as for an only son, most bitter lamentation; for the destroyer shall suddenly come on us. 27 “I have made you a tester of metals and a fortress amongst my people; that you may know and try their way. 28 They are all grievous rebels, going about with slanders; they are brass and iron: they all of them deal corruptly. 29 The bellows blow fiercely; the lead is consumed of the fire: in vain do they go on refining; for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Men will call them rejected silver, because the LORD has rejected them.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-8

Whatever methods are used, it is vain to contend with God’s judgments. The more we indulge in the pleasures of this life, the more we unfit ourselves for the troubles of this life. The Chaldean army shall break in upon the land of Judah, and in a little time devour all. The day is coming, when those careless and secure in sinful ways will be visited. It is folly to trifle when we have eternal salvation to work out, and the enemies of that salvation to fight against. But they were thus eager, not that they might fulfil God’s counsels, but that they might fill their own treasures; yet God thereby served his own purposes. The corrupt heart of man, in its natural state, casts out evil thoughts, just as a fountain casts out her waters. It is always flowing, yet always full. The God of mercy is loth to depart even from a provoking people, and is earnest with them, that by repentance and reformation, they may prevent things from coming to extremity.

Verses 9-17

When the Lord arises to take vengeance, no sinners of any age or rank, or of either sex escape. They were set upon the world, and wholly carried away by the love of it. If we judge of this sin by God’s word, we find multitudes in every station and rank given up to it. Those are to be reckoned our worst and most dangerous enemies, who flatter us in a sinful way. Oh that men would be wise for their souls! Ask for the old paths; the way of godliness and righteousness has always been the way God has owned and blessed. Ask for the old paths set forth by the written word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in it, you will find abundant recompence at your journey’s end. But if men will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed Refuge, it will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they are ruined because they reject God’s word.

Verses 18-30

God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in sin, they provoke God. The sins of God’s professing people make them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God’s mercies, though they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear of God’s judgments, though they see them only in the threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins. Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless. When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace, leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by the Lord, as silver is refined.

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