Jeremiah 4 - 6 - Outline of Jeremiah (MENU page)

Jeremiah's second message, which started in ch. 3, continues in these chapters.

The theme (or key phrase) of the first part of this message was "Return thou backsliding Israel" (3:12)
The theme of the second part is "The fierce anger of the Lord is not turned back from us." (4:8b)
Because Israel had not responded from their hearts to the Lord's invitation to turn back to Him (3:10), He would not turn back His judgment from them.

I. The Call of the Lord for Israel to Turn Back to Him. (3:6-4:4)
(Review: read 4:1-4)
II. The Anger of the Lord is not Turned Back from us. (4:5-6:30)
A. The Enemy from the North (4:5-31)
  1. The coming woes seen in three assignments-
    1. A Lion: the Destroyer from among the Gentiles wastes the Government (4:5-10), cp. 50:17
      v.10 Thou hast greatly deceived... cp. Eze 14:9; 2Thes 2:11, 10b
    2. A Hot Wind: the same Destroyer wastes the livelihood of the people (4:11-13)
      v.11 ...not to fan {ie., winnow}, nor to cleanse {ie., purge}...
      The time for removing impurity passed. The time for removal of the impure had come.
    3. Watchers from a far country: Examining all aspects of the Land for their advantage (4:14-18)
      Just as the eyes of the Lord discern the wickedness of their hearts for judgment.
  2. The coming woes seen in Jeremiah's anguish (Jeremiah's heart reflects the Lord's grief) (4:19-26)
    • v.22 They have not known Me... they are wise to do evil. cp. 2Tim 3:7
    • v.23 ...it was without form and void {HB, tohu vo bohu}- This phrase is used in Gen 1:1,2 of the earth before God made it habitable. Here it emphasizies the severity of judgment: the earth is wasted. cp. Isa 24:1
  3. The coming woes seen in the unalterable purposes of God (4:27-31)
    • v.27 The Lord's purpose in judgment is not "to make a full end," but to enable them to see that the lovers they had sought are their undoing.
B. Exposure of the Enemies within
   (The destruction by enemies from without was due to the spiritual destruction within.)
  1. The Search for a Righteous Man (5:1-19)
    1. The Common Men refuse to receive correction (5:1-4). cp. Jer 7:28; Zeph 3:2
    2. The Great Men have broken away from the Lord's way (5:5-11)
      • v.5 Those with responsibility were in rebellion against the Lord. cp. Mic 3:1; Psa 2:2,3
      • v.8 as fed horses everyone neighing after their neighbor's wife (cp. 2Tim 3:6). They were obsessed with sexual indulgence.
    3. The Prophets have become wind (5:12-19)
      • v.12 The people had rejected the message of God's prophets (eg. 2Chr 36:16). The prophets, to whom they did listen, brought empty words. cp. 2Tim 4:3,4
      • v.14 Yet they would be judged according to God's Word in Jeremiah's mouth.
    4. The Disregard of Limits set by God (5:20-29)
      • Even the roaring sea cannot escape bounds set by God (5:20-22)
        v.20 eyes that see not... cp. Isa 6:9,10
      • The general rebellion of the people (5:23-25)
      • The excesses of the rich and powerful (5:26-29)
        v.27 Houses full of deceit... Here is a primary reason that young people turn away from their parents and the faith they profess.
      • Summary: Prophets... Priests... People love to have it so (5:30,31)
C. The City to be Visited [see 5:9,29] (6:1-30)
  1. A Forewarned City (6:1-8)
    • v. 1 ...flee... blow the trumpet... set alarm fires
    • v. 8... be instructed... lest I make thee desolate
    • v.6,7 The reason for judgment... (continues through next section)
      The words are directed to Israel, but they are also a description of our country.
  2. An Abominable City (6:9-21)
    • v.13 Covetousness... false dealings... cp. 2Tim 3:1-5; 2Pet 2:3,15
    • v.14 Healed the hurt (bruise, wound) of my people slightly... 2Pet 2:18-21
      Josiah's reforms improved their external religious appearance, but the inner corruption remained. They were still under God's judgment, though their leaders promised peace.
    • v.19 I will bring evil upon them because they have rejected my Word. (also vs.10, 17)
      "The Reader's Digest published an article quite some time ago entitled 'The Book Almost Nobody Reads.' Of course they were referring to the Bible. I agree with that title. But notice what was said: 'In short, one way to describe the Bible, written by many different hands over a period of 3,000 years and more, would be to say that it is a disorderly collection of 60 odd books which are often tedious, barbaric, obscure and teeming with contradictions and inconsistencies. It is a swarming compost of a book, an Irish stew of poetry and propaganda, law and legalism, myth and murk, history and hysteria.' Now that is a lie, my friend! The man who wrote that article knows nothing about the content of the Word of God."
      [From J.V.McGee, Thru the Bible Radio study on Jeremiah]
  3. A Mourning City (6:22-26)
  4. A Tried City (6:27-30)
    • v.27 Jeremiah, bearing God's Word, was the standard of truth and righteousness for his people.
    • v.30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the Lord hath rejected them.-
      Reprobate (lit. rejected) silver is skimmed off the top of the refiner's pot with the impurities from which it could not be separated... even with extra heat. Israel would be rejected by men, because the Lord rejected them, because they rejected Him. This is the case with our country also. We have spent billions of dollars to buy friends and to extend our influence in the world. Yet we are despised by many nations. We proclaim "in God we trust" and expect God to bless America. But we have rejected Him, and export our filth everywhere (cp. 6:7). We are rejected by sinful men, because God has rejected us.

If they would have truly returned to Him, they would not have been removed (4:1). But they had not returned. It would be little more than 20 years before Jeremiah would describe the woes, foretold here prophetically, from the perspective of history (Lam 1:8).

Yet, even in the pronouncement of judgment, there is a thread of hope. For the Lord says, "Yet will I not make a full end of them." (4:27; 5:18). And until the judgment falls, He continues to show them the way of escape (eg. 6:16-17).


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