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©Michael Player

Chapter 5:18-31 (ESV)

Posted on July 06, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 5:18-31 (ESV) - “But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. And when your people say, ‘Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’”

Declare this in the house of Jacob;
    proclaim it in Judah:
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes, but see not,
    who have ears, but hear not.
Do you not fear me? declares the LORD.
    Do you not tremble before me?
I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea,
    a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass;
though the waves toss, they cannot prevail;
    though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
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.’
Your iniquities have turned these away,
    and your sins have kept good from you.
For wicked men are found among my people;
    they lurk like fowlers lying in wait.
They set a trap;
    they catch men.
Like a cage full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
therefore they have become great and rich;
    they have grown fat and sleek.
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.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares the LORD,
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?”

An appalling and horrible thing
    has happened in the land:
the prophets prophesy falsely,
    and the priests rule at their direction;
my people love to have it so,
    but what will you do when the end comes?

Question to consider: According to today’s passage, in what way did the LORD judge Judah?

Even in judgment, the LORD displays mercy to those who fear Him and call upon His name. Despite being in the promised land for almost five hundred years and never successfully keeping God’s law, the LORD in His mercy would not make a full end to the people of Israel. To those from Judah who were to experience exile in Babylon, it may not look like mercy so there would be many who would ask, “Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?” The truth of the matter is that the LORD did not do anything to Judah. He merely allowed them to become slaves of the foreign gods they had served. God does not cause us to sin, but there are times in which He gives us over to it. In this, God lets us experience the natural outcome of our sin so that we may turn from it and return to Him.

Of course, those in Judah were deaf and blind to their plight because they did not fear the LORD and senselessly accepted their slavery to sin. They were described as having a stubborn and rebellious heart. They took the seasons, rains, and harvests for granted and instead turned to their sin. It’s interesting that Jeremiah had considered the poor to be the ones who rebelled against the LORD and were deserving of their punishment. Instead, the LORD pronounced that it was the great and rich who had grown fat and sleek and knew no bounds in their evil deeds. They were the ones who did not defend the rights of the needy or look after the fatherless.

Jeremiah was young and naïve, accepting the prophets and priests as true when they were instead false, but the LORD was giving him eyes to see and ears to hear the truth. We can also be blind and deaf to our sin, and we are equally deserving of the wrath of God like Judah was at the time of Jeremiah. The only thing that keeps us from that wrath is the righteousness given to us by Christ through faith. The apostle Paul wrote that we were clothed with this righteousness in our baptism, “For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” (Galatians 3:27)

Just like Jeremiah, we are being given eyes to see and ears to hear through God’s Holy Spirit working in us through His word and conforming us to the image of Christ. Being able to see our own sin through the Law drives us to repentance so we continue to confess our sins and receive the assurance that we are forgiven and at peace with our heavenly Father.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for opening our eyes to our own sin so that we may confess them and turn back to You. Help us to show grace to our neighbor in their sin, especially when it is against us. May we show mercy as we have been shown mercy in the name of Jesus. Amen.