Summary: A sermon of judgment on the nation of Judah and parallels to the USA (Outline taken from James Smith in the book, The Major Prophets, pgs. 206-208)
It is said that Ghandi was asked, "What is your opinion of the American civilization?"
His reply: "I think it would be an excellent idea."
A few years ago, a politician said this: “A country that has been now since 1963 relentlessly in the courts driving God out of public life shouldn't be surprised at all by the problems we have."
“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” - General Douglas MacArthur
In Jeremiah 5 we see the descriptions of a nation in moral and religious decline. Even though King Josiah tried to lead a revival in Judah, it was short lived. Judgment was coming at the hand of the Babylonians. After King Josiah was killed in a battle with the Egyptians, the end was not far away. The people from the least to the greatest were bent on sin and rebellion so the Lord had to disciple and punish. How can a holy God be tolerant of an unholy people?
The parallels to our own day are striking. I do not know what kind of discipline or punishment is in store for us (I’m not a prophet) but the Lord will not allow sin to reign supreme.
Jeremiah 5 gives us 6 reasons why the terrible judgment upon the nation of Judah was necessary.
Thesis: Let’s look at these 6 reasons and compare them to our own nation
Moral corruption (vs. 1-6)
God told Jeremiah to find one righteous man in Jerusalem. If Jeremiah could find one righteous man God would spare the city.
Jeremiah did find some who used the name of God in oaths, but these did not keep their promises made in God’s name. God as looking for justice in man’s dealings with their fellow man, and truth and faithfulness in their dealings with God. Because they were not truthful or faithful in their dealings with others and God, they would have to receive discipline from God.
Vs. 3- When the discipline came, they hardened their faces like rock and refused to repent.
Vs. 4-5: Jeremiah was still not ready to concede that no righteous man could be found in the nation. He thought that among the wealthy he would find those who had the leisure time to study and know the ways of God. Unfortunately, he found that they too had “broken off the yoke and tore off the bonds” with God.
Vs. 6- Only one fate awaited an ox that broke loose from its yoke and headed for the forest. The wild animals would rip it to pieces. Because of their many “transgressions’ and apostasies,” such would be the fate of Judah at the hands of the Babylonians.
If the power of the Gospel is not felt throughout the length and breadth of the land, anarchy and misrule, degradation and misery, corruption and darkness will reign without mitigation or end- Daniel Webster, US Senator
Sexual impurity (vs. 7-9)
Even though God provided all the material needs for his people, yet the flocked to the house of the temple prostitute to participate in pagan worship. Their “worship” practices had spilled over into everyday life. Sexual desire had become an uncontrollable animal appetite. Like mindless horses they neighed after the mares. Such a breakdown of sexual standards is an affront to God. He must punish any nation which permits this corruption to take place.