Jeremiah 4:1-18 A Call To Repentance.
Israel needed to turn from their abominations of idolatry if they had any hope of being secure (v. 1). They needed to swear that ‘The LORD lives,’ that is, the covenant LORD is the only living God, who has entered into a binding relationship with his people (v. 2a). This confession bears witness to a comprehensive perspective – “In truth, in judgment, and in righteousness” (v. 2b). This confession would be worldwide, encompassing people from all nations – in the LORD himself they would bless themselves, “and in Him they shall glory.” However, returning to Judah and Jerusalem, the segment of the nation not yet in exile, Jeremiah states that they must also repent, remove the thorns of sin, and roll them back with the circumcision of their hearts, lest his fury “come forth like fire,” because their deeds were evil (vv. 3-4). Jeremiah is told to make a declaration to the people to “blow the trumpet in the land,” and set up a banner or standard toward Zion as a place of refuge, from the judgment coming from the north – a great destruction (vv. 5-6).
This is one case where ‘the lion’ comes to destroy (v. 8). The humility of repentance was what was called for, as the LORD’s anger advanced (v. 9). Jeremiah claimed that the LORD promised them peace, and here is where we begin to see thoughts not unlike Job. However, the LORD’s peace is the peace which only comes when his propitiation is addressed, for the sword of his word goes to the heart, to the core of who we are, of what we really think (v. 10). There is a wind coming that was neither refreshing, nor disciplinary for the bulk of the nation – it was for destruction (vv. 11-12). This is why there is the call to Zion, a disciplinary one for the remnant, as they escape the destruction to come in the wilderness from the whirlwind (v. 13). The nation will be plundered, but the remnant are called to wash their hearts from wickedness, if they would dwell in His city (v. 14). Watchers will come declaring both to the nations and Israel, including Judah and Jerusalem, that judgment is coming for covenantal rebellion (vv. 15-17). This judgment was coming because of their own wickedness (v. 18).