In this chapter the Lord continues to use Jeremiah to pronounce judgment on Israel by the coming destruction of Jerusalem. The Lord gave His people so many chances to repent, to confess, to turn from their sin. If they would have returned to Him, He would have foregone the judgment. But they would not hearken.
How many times in my own life has He pointed out a particular sin or an area that I need to surrender? And yet I continue to choose my own way. I do not hearken, I will not forsake my sin. Surely judgment is coming.
Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
Vs. 11 – The Lord is weary of waiting and holding in His judgment. Am I causing Him to be weary, or to rejoice? I sometimes feel so weary of dealing with Elaine. She will disobey on the same issue over, and over, and over again. I just get so tired of instructing, of repeating myself, of administering discipline. Is this the way I am causing the Lord to feel?
Jeremiah 6:14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.
The people had a false sense of security, and believed that in spite of their rebellion there was peace. There is no peace apart from the Lord and living in a right relationship with Him – Is. 26:3-4
Jeremiah 6:15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the LORD.
The people couldn’t even blush over their sin any more – they saw nothing shameful in their lifestyle. It had become that much of a habit. What about me? I hardly blink an eye at the first curse word in a movie. If there is cursing every other word, then we turn it off and I feel ashamed. Should not I respond the same way to the first wrong word? Whether small or great, it is all sin to God.
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
The remedy is to seek the old paths. Return to the former lifestyle, return to the Lord. Find the good way and walk in it. Do not respond as did Israel, “We will not walk therein.” Such a sad statement – to hear the Lord’s call to repentance and a better life, and to refuse Him.
Jeremiah 6:17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.
The Lord even gave them watchmen – like Jeremiah – who told the people of coming destruction. Yet they continued in sin.
Jeremiah 6:19-20 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me.
The result is that the religious “routines” of the people had no meaning to the Lord. He wants the heart, not outward conformity. He wants obedience, not sacrifices. Is my “incense” sweet to the Lord and acceptable in His sight? Or is my lifestyle stinking and putrid to Him because He sees my real motives and my heart? If I continue in my sin I will reap the fruit of my thoughts and of my rejection of the Lord.
Jeremiah 6:29-30 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them.
I want to be pure silver, having the dross removed. I do not want to come to the end of my life and realize that it was all reprobate and fake. Am I living a genuine Christian - “Christlike” – life before the world?
Proverbs 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.