|Jeremiah 6 |
1 "O you children of Benjamin, gather yourselves to flee out of the midst of Jerusalem, and blow the trumpet in Tekoa [a town south of Judah], and set up a signal fire in Bethhaccerem [a town near Jerusalem] for evil appears out of the north, and great destruction.
2 I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
3 The shepherds with their flocks shall come to her; they shall pitch their tents against her round about; 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 goes away, for the shadows of the evening are stretched out.
5 Arise, and let us go by night, and let us destroy her palaces."
6 For thus has the LORD of hosts said, "Cut down the trees, and build a siege mount against Jerusalem. This is the city to be destroyed; only oppression is in the midst of her.
7 As a fountain issues out her waters, so she issues out her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; before me continually are her sickness and wounds.
8 Heed my instructions O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from you; lest I make you desolate, a land not inhabited."
9 Thus says the Lord of hosts, "They shall thoroughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine. Turn back your hand again to the vine as a grape gatherer into the baskets.
10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.
11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding it back. I will pour it out upon the children in the street, and upon groups of young men together. Even the husband with the wife shall be taken and the aged with him that is full of days.
12 And their houses shall be turned to others, with their fields and wives together. For I will stretch out my hand upon the inhabitants of the land," says the Lord.
13 "For from the least of them even to the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely.
14 They [the priest and prophet] have healed also the wound of the daughter of my people falsely, saying, 'Peace, peace;' when there is no peace.1
15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall. At the time that I visit them, they shall be cast down," says the Lord.
16 Thus says the Lord, "Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'
17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, 'Hearken to the sound of the trumpet.' But they said, 'We will not hearken.'
18 Therefore hear, you nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts [and schemes] because they have not heeded my words, nor my law, but have rejected it.
20 To what purpose do you bring to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor are your sacrifices sweet to me."
21 Therefore thus says the Lord, "Behold, I will lay stumbling blocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbor and his friend shall perish."
22 Thus says the Lord, "Behold, a people comes from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth.
23 They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roars like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against you, O daughter of Zion."
24 We have heard the fame thereof; our hands wax feeble. Anguish has taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail.
25 Do not go out into the fields, nor walk by the way; for the sword of the enemy and fear is on every side.
26 "O daughter of my people, gird you with sackcloth, and wallow yourself in ashes: make you mourning, as for an only son, a most bitter lamentation for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.
27 I have set you [Jeremiah] for a tower and a fortress among my people, that you may know and try their way.
28 They are all grievous rebels, walking with slanders. They are brass and iron; they are all corrupters.
29 The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the metal smith melts in vain for the wicked are not plucked away.
30 Men shall call them reprobate silver because the LORD has rejected them."
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1The false ministers say Peace, Peace, when there is no peace. And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness is quietness and confidence forever. Isa 32:17. Through our belief in the true gospel, we have access to God, allowing us to approach him to receive his changing, purifying grace through hearing and obedience; however, until we have been purified and freed from all sin, there is no peace or righteousness. See the definition of righteousness in 1 John 3:7's commentary and footnote to understand what it means and what it takes to become righteous.
If while on earth, we fail to patiently and persistently wait on God, hearing and obeying all his commands, thus to be purified by faith, there is no peace with God because God does not tolerate sin; thus our souls will be destroyed, and we will be banned from heaven. Then we will have to make our peace with God the hard way: through a painful education and change in Hell.
The relatively easy way to obtain peace is on earth is through the inward cross of self-denial, which through repentance and destruction (remission) of sin produces peace and righteousness that is received as the Spirit of Christ replaces our destroyed sinful nature.
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