Impending Disaster for Jerusalem
6 Flee for safety, O people of Benjamin,
from the midst of Jerusalem!
Blow the trumpet in Tekoa,
and raise a signal on Beth-haccherem,
for disaster looms out of the north,
and great destruction.
The lovely and delicately bred I will destroy,
the daughter of Zion.
Shepherds with their flocks shall come against her;
they shall pitch their tents around her;
they shall pasture, each in his place.
“Prepare war against her;
arise, and let us attack at noon!
Woe to us, for the day declines,
for the shadows of evening lengthen!
Arise, and let us attack by night
and destroy her palaces!”
For thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Cut down her trees;
cast up a siege mound against Jerusalem.
This is the city that must be punished;
there is nothing but oppression within her.
As a well keeps its water fresh,
so she keeps fresh her evil;
violence and destruction are heard within her;
sickness and wounds are ever before me.
Be warned, O Jerusalem,
lest I turn from you in disgust,
lest I make you a desolation,
an uninhabited land.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“They shall glean thoroughly as a vine
the remnant of Israel;
like a grape gatherer pass your hand again
over its branches.”
To whom shall I speak and give warning,
that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are uncircumcised,
they cannot listen;
behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn;
they take no pleasure in it.
Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD;
I am weary of holding it in.
“Pour it out upon the children in the street,
and upon the gatherings of young men, also;
both husband and wife shall be taken,
the elderly and the very aged.
Their houses shall be turned over to others,
their fields and wives together,
for I will stretch out my hand
against the inhabitants of the land,”
declares the LORD.
“For from the least to the greatest of them,
everyone is greedy for unjust gain;
and from prophet to priest,
everyone deals falsely.
They have healed the wound of my people lightly,
saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
when there is no peace.
Were they ashamed when they committed abomination?
No, they were not at all ashamed;
they did not know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;
at the time that I punish them, they shall be overthrown,”
says the LORD.
Thus says the LORD:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Pay attention to the sound of the trumpet!’
But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.’
Therefore hear, O nations,
and know, O congregation, what will happen to them.
Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people,
the fruit of their devices,
because they have not paid attention to my words;
and as for my law, they have rejected it.
What use to me is frankincense that comes from Sheba,
or sweet cane from a distant land?
Your burnt offerings are not acceptable,
nor your sacrifices pleasing to me.
Therefore thus says the LORD:
‘Behold, I will lay before this people
stumbling blocks against which they shall stumble;
fathers and sons together,
neighbor and friend shall perish.’”
Thus says the LORD:
“Behold, a people is coming from the north country,
a great nation is stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
They lay hold on bow and javelin;
they are cruel and have no mercy;
the sound of them is like the roaring sea;
they ride on horses,
set in array as a man for battle,
against you, O daughter of Zion!”
We have heard the report of it;
our hands fall helpless;
anguish has taken hold of us,
pain as of a woman in labor.
Go not out into the field,
nor walk on the road,
for the enemy has a sword;
terror is on every side.
O daughter of my people, put on sackcloth,
and roll in ashes;
make mourning as for an only son,
most bitter lamentation,
for suddenly the destroyer
will come upon us.
“I have made you a tester of metals among my people,
that you may know and test their ways.
They are all stubbornly rebellious,
going about with slanders;
they are bronze and iron;
all of them act corruptly.
The bellows blow fiercely;
the lead is consumed by the fire;
in vain the refining goes on,
for the wicked are not removed.
Rejected silver they are called,
for the LORD has rejected them.”
Jeremiah 6 Commentary
by Hank Workman
Ignore it and it will go away.
Have you ever done that? How’d it work out for you when you did? Right?!
Ignoring a situation, a hardship or even a personal attack on some level does not make it disappear. There are those who certainly live like this. It’s found in dysfunction of families. It’s found in workplaces. People choose to simply ignore a situation, down deep praying it will end miraculously. “If I don’t think about it or address it, it isn’t there” is how some live.
The problem is it never does go away. Until whatever problem is addressed and brought out in the open, change won’t happen. Of course, the reality is the parties involved need to recognize their own role in whatever the situation is. But whether or not they do that is really on them. Bringing the issue out in the open helps you in the end. A freedom can be found through this as well as honestly some leverage to go back to the issue again and again in hopes of seeing it corrected.
Ignoring something will not make it go away. It makes it worse.
On some levels, Jeremiah 6 is a horror story. It’s a nightmare of what is to come simply because the people continued to reject the warnings of God through Jeremiah. They were ignoring the commands and pretended as though there wasn’t a problem. These jokers kept choosing to listen to false ‘words’ of peace that was coming because they didn’t like the words of condemnation Jeremiah spoke.
Denying the truth changes nothing.
There is a reality that our God of grace and mercy always gives fair warning of things to come if we don’t change our ways. He’s pretty direct on these matters. But this is mercy because He longs for us to not go through whatever is to come. He wants us to change our ways. He wants us to admit our sin. Unfortunately, sometimes due to our own stubbornness we will experience the horror of things. We will pay the consequences. Although grace is extended if we turn, we must actually turn from our ways and seek Him.
Stop ignoring the problem. It will not go away. God’s love is so strong for each of us He will go to whatever measure needed to have us return.
Jeremiah 6 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
A few years ago, I discovered that the agitator in our washing machine was not turning like it was supposed to. After disassembling the whole thing, I discovered that the bolt had worn down over time and could no longer hold the agitator in place. The harsh elements of the water combined with the continuous back and forth motion really just destroyed this small part. Because of this damage, it was incapable of doing what it was created to do.
So, in order to fix this issue, I replaced the bolt. However, 6 months later, the same thing happened. The design flaw of this particular model causes it to break down and require a new bolt to be put in after a set amount of time. When reading about Israel and Judah, I thought of my washing machine. Yes, it sounds strange at first, but it makes sense. Over time, the people’s hearts wore down just like this rusted bolt. They became hard and calloused and eventually they were not serving the purpose they were created for – the glorification of God.
The LORD Almighty said to me, “Israel will be stripped clean like a vineyard from which every grape has been picked. So you must rescue everyone you can while there is still time.” 10 I answered, “Who would listen to me if I spoke to them and warned them? They are stubborn and refuse to listen to your message; they laugh at what you tell me to say.Jeremiah 6:9-10 GNB
No matter how much I cleaned up that old bolt, there was just no way it could still be used. No matter what God said to His people, they just couldn’t listen. Not only that, they became hostile toward the Word of God through His prophets. It was a hindrance to them and brought them no delight. They had set their hearts on doing what they wanted to do, and the consequences were coming.
Though I don’t think that I’m worthless, I do believe that I can become useless. If I am unteachable, I am useless. This is precisely the analogy that God gives to Jeremiah in the closing verses of this chapter.
GOD gave me this task: “I have made you the examiner of my people, to examine and weigh their lives. 28 They’re a thickheaded, hard-nosed bunch, rotten to the core, the lot of them. 29 Refining fires are cranked up to white heat, but the ore stays a lump, unchanged. It’s useless to keep trying any longer. Nothing can refine evil out of them. 30 Men will give up and call them ‘slag,’ thrown on the slag heap by me, their GOD.”Jeremiah 6:27-30 MSG
When a refiner purifies silver, lead is used to remove the impurities. But if the lead is consumed, the dross in the silver ore cannot be removed. That chunk of metal is deemed useless because the time and energy required to purify such a stubborn lump is not worth it in the end. Does this bring someone to mind?
There are many today who are so proud and unteachable that the amount of effort required to help them change just doesn’t seem worth it. Maybe you are this person? How would you know? I’m all about practicality, so here are 5 signs you may be unteachable. Pray and humbly ask the Holy Spirit to confirm if these traits describe you.
- When given time to speak, you almost always talk too much
- You typically make decisions without asking any questions
- You almost always ignore or are angered by criticism
- You can’t remember the last time you admitted you were wrong or said you were sorry
- When others share the joy of their accomplishments, you can’t resist sharing why yours are equal or better
The truth of Jesus is that His love burns white-hot. What the law could not do in Jeremiah’s time, Jesus has done through His sacrifice. Even the most stubborn dross will not survive the penetrating love of Christ. However, we must place ourselves into His fiery furnace and allow that process to take shape!