It Runs Deep

Digging into our sin is like peeling an onion. We’re never done—there always seems to be another layer. And the more layers are revealed, the more we recognize the depths of our sinfulness and our inability to help ourselves. As Jeremiah said later in the book: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (17:9).

Sadly, Jeremiah’s peeling of Judah’s onion of sin led to no tears of repentance. Things were definitely not as they should have been (vv. 21–25). What should have been happening was awe, reverence, fear, trembling, gratitude, and worship. Just as nature keeps to its divinely set boundaries, people should know how to act toward God. But Judah was acting in ways that were spiritually blind and deaf, foolish, stubborn, and rebellious. “They [had] turned aside and gone away” from the path of righteousness (v. 23). God had planned to bless them, but their ongoing sin was depriving them of the good He intended (v. 25).

The next layer was even worse (vv. 26–29)! Simply rebelling wasn’t enough for some wrongdoers. They set traps for others. They became rich and powerful through deceit and exploitation. In opposition to biblical justice, which seeks others’ good (Deut. 10:17–19; James 1:27), they were only looking after themselves. “Their evil deeds [had] no limit” (v. 28). They deserved God’s punishment, and God took it personally: “Should I not avenge myself on such a nation as this?” (v. 29).

Still another layer—how low could it go (vv. 30–31)? “Horrible” and “shocking” are the only appropriate words. Prophets told lies instead of truth, priests ministered by their own authority instead of God’s, and, most appallingly, “my people love it this way” (v. 31).

The “fat and sleek” of Jeremiah’s day did not speak up for the poor or the orphan (v. 28). What about us? Where in our lives are we speaking up for biblical justice?

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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