Jeremiah 5 But what will you do in the end?
Only among those surviving the judgment would one find anyone executing judgment based on truth, but if one could then the LORD would spare the city (v. 1). Some claimed to swear their oath to the LORD, but they were false (v. 2). The LORD is the God who seeks the truth, including a true repentance wherein one turns from their wicked ways to the way of the LORD, keeping covenant with him (v. 3). Poor and rich were both guilty (vv. 4-5). Wild beasts would attack them for their transgressions and backslidings – the whole of creation is affected (v. 6). Even their children transgressed in physical and spiritual adultery (vv. 7-8). In his vengeance, the LORD would punish them (v. 9). However, even with all this, the LORD would fulfill his covenant promises through a remnant, for he would “not make a complete end – the branches alone would be removed (v. 10). The bulk of the nation of Judah were guilty of treachery (v. 11).
False prophets were but wind, lying about the LORD, and the approaching judgment (vv. 12-13). On the other hand, Jeremiah’s word would be as fire to consume the people (v. 14). A mighty nation from afar, speaking a foreign tongue, would come against Israel and plunder her (vv. 15-17). “Nevertheless in those days,” says the LORD, “I will not make a complete end of you” (v. 18). A remnant will be left through whom the covenantal promises may continue. Because the nation served foreign gods, foreigners would rule over them, and the land would no longer be theirs – it was the sovereign LORD who was behind this (v. 19). They were foolish people who no longer feared the LORD – including Jacob and Judah (vv. 20-21). The waters have their bounds, but not the rebellious heart of the LORD’s covenant people (vv. 22-23). The thoughts of one’s heart ought to be on the LORD’s good providence, with thanksgiving, but they were not, so blessings were withheld (vv. 24-25).
There were those among the LORD’s people who were wicked, setting traps for their brothers and sisters, so that they grew rich from their deeds (vv. 26-27). This included sins of omission, in the failure to plead the cause of the needy (v. 28). There was just cause for vengeance and punishment (v. 29). It was an astonishing and horrible thing, that the prophets were supposed to be the source of truth, because they were supposed to be speaking the words of the LORD. Instead they manufactured counterfeit words in a confederacy of evil. Likewise, the priests were supposed to teach, act, and judge based on the truth, the words of the LORD, in the power of God’s Spirit, but instead they ruled in their own strength, by a false testimony. They feared the people more than the LORD, for this is what the people wanted (vv. 30-31). But what will a person or a people do in the end, when one rejects the words of the LORD?