Jeremiah 6 Thoughts Bear Fruit-Truth Was Cut Off.
Jeremiah continues to address the southern Kingdom of Judah, in particular Benjaminites that bordered Jerusalem to the north, and the blowing of the trumpet in Tekoa, the home of Amos, to gather themselves together to flee from the midst of Jerusalem, as disaster comes from the north (v. 1). Foreigners will pitch their tents, stake out a place as it were, among the daughter of Zion – that generation (vv. 2-3 Cf. 2:2; 4:6-7; 12:10; II Kgs. 25:1-4). Day and night war will be waged (vv. 4-5 Cf. 15:8; 51:27). Jerusalem was being judged for the oppression in her midst, wickedness, violence, and plundering (vv. 6-7, 12 Cf. 8:10; 38:22; Dt. 28:30). However, there was still time for Jerusalem to be instructed and to repent (v. 8 Cf. Ezek. 23:18). Nothing would be left of the northern kingdom of Israel, implying that there may be a remnant to remain from the southern kingdom (v. 9). A remnant would be hard to find, for the majority were not heeding the warnings, not hearing with the intent of acknowledging the truth.
The word of the LORD was a reproach to them, therefore there was no delight in it (v. 10 Cf. 5:21; 7:26; 8:9). For this cause the LORD would come upon them in judgment (v. 11 Cf. 9:21; 20:9). Everyone was covetous, and both prophet and priest were guilty of falsehood – as the givers and teachers of the word of the LORD (v. 13 Cf. 8:10). Covetousness was at the root of all their transgressions (Cf. 5:31; 22:17; 23:11). They should have preached the whole counsel of the LORD, including the need for repentance because of their sin, but instead they preached peace when there was no peace (v. 14 Cf. 4:10; 8:11-15; 23:17; Ezek. 13:10). As a result, they knew no shame (v. 15 Cf. 3:3; 8:12). They needed to hear a word from the past, an old path, a good way where they would find true rest, “But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (v. 16 Cf. 18:15; Is. 8:20; Mal. 4:4; Mt. 11:29; Lk. 16:29). They knew the truth but refused to live according to it. They had watchmen given to them, but they also refused to listen (v. 17 Cf. 25:4).
Therefore, the nations, and indeed the whole earth, were called upon to bear witness that they would suffer calamities as a result of their own thoughts, because they had not heeded the LORD’s words, nor his law, but rejected it (vv. 18-19 Cf. 19:3, 15). They thought that all they needed were external religious acts, even a biblical liturgy devoid of any sincerity, and contrary to their hearts (v. 20 Cf. 7:21-23). They would fall over stumbling blocks, placed by the LORD, as the people from the north came upon them in battle, showing no mercy (vv. 21-23 Cf. 1:15; 10:22; 50:41-43). However, there were some who, with Jeremiah, were in anguish at this report, who were instructed to dress themselves in sackcloth and ashes, and to mourn (vv. 24-26 Cf. 4:8, 31; 13:21; 25:34; 49:24). In all of this, Jeremiah was the LORD’s “assayer and a fortress,” to know and test the ways of the people (v. 27 Cf. 1:18). Jeremiah was not some man with the skills of a soothsayer or modern guru, such that he could penetrate to the core thoughts of the people, and he was not God.
However, Jeremiah did have, and was given the word of the LORD, which does judge to the core of one’s heart in truth, “a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12). They were a stubborn people, “walking as slanderers,” hardened like bronze and iron, corrupting the truth (v. 28 Cf. 5:23; 9:4). If they were true covenant keepers, then they would be coming through a process of sanctification, like the refining of precious metals. The wicked were permitted to dwell among them unchallenged, even her prophets and priests. The judgment coming should have led to repentance, and a real sanctifying process of discipline, but the majority ironically made themselves hardened like tempered metals (vv. 29-30). They should have been valiant for the truth, but instead they were full of lies (9:3). Their eyes should have been looking on the truth, even as did the LORD (5:31). This was a nation who did “not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.” (7:29)