NOT EVEN ONE
I worship You, God, for being so worthy of my praise and adoration.
Read Jeremiah 5:1–13
Not One Is Upright
5 “Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and consider,
search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
I will forgive this city.
2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
still they are swearing falsely.”
3 Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You struck them, but they felt no pain;
you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
and refused to repent.
4 I thought, “These are only the poor;
they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.
5 So I will go to the leaders
and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
and torn off the bonds.
6 Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
and their backslidings many.
7 “Why should I forgive you?
Your children have forsaken me
and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
yet they committed adultery
and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
8 They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
each neighing for another man’s wife.
9 Should I not punish them for this?”
declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
on such a nation as this?
10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
have been utterly unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.
12 They have lied about the Lord;
they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind
and the word is not in them;
so let what they say be done to them.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“The punishment that brought us peace was on him” (Isa. 53:5).
The apostle Paul famously wrote: “There is no one righteous, not even one… All have turned away” (Rom. 3:10,12). This is the case God put to Jeremiah—no one in Jerusalem was even looking for the truth. They were all rebels from the heart (6b) who had thrown off God’s ways in order to indulge self-centered desires (7,8). They were utterly unfaithful to God (11). They had heard the prophets and knew that their practices were wrong, but they denied that they had to answer to God for their actions (12,13).
In the West, we live in a culture that has utterly thrown off God’s Word and ways, and in some cases encourages the indulgence of sinful desire as if it were a moral virtue. But it’s easy to point the finger at “them”—what about us? Where have we followed the world in its indulgence? Have we begun to say, “We know what God’s Word says, but we’ll just alter or forget it”? Are we forgetting that judgment is coming on the world, and we all must give account to God for our lives (Eph. 5:5–7; Rom. 14:10b–12)?
When he first preached, Jeremiah must have sounded like a prudish scaremonger—the fulfillment of his prophecies was still far off. But justice demands punishment (9). These were truths as difficult for Jeremiah as they are for us.
Where have you altered God’s ways for the world’s? What are some simple steps you can take to continually fix your mind on Christ and his way throughout your day?
Thank You, God, that the punishment I owed for my sin fell upon Jesus, and that I am free.