What will you do?Jeremiah 5:1-5,18-19Ⅰ To find the "one
1 Timothy 6:17-19
For Jeremiah, the duty of the prophet who was called by God had a higher meaning more than to be a voice to convey words of God. Surely, he was not having thought so from the beginning; but, because he would be surprised at tremendous terribleness of the collapse and felt it so sad while conveying the message which was ordered by God "to tell it", he would have thought so, I think. However, it does not be allowed to refuse it saying "I cannot convey such a thing". Therefore, he will ask oneself the meaning of telling. It became the mutter toward God; but here, it must be heard that it is a question to oneself of extremely introspection-like Jeremiah. Of course, there is the reply of God there, too, but he cannot understand it, and repeats questions many times and gives off it. It is thought its repetition is indispensable for us today.
"Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, and look now, and take note. And seek in her open squares, if you can find a man, if there is one who does justice, who seeks truth, then I will pardon her." (1) "And look it now, and take note.", its question begins with words of God; and it boils a question and answer with God and Abraham; Abraham regretted Lot and people of the town, and asked to God. (Genesis 18:22 -33). It was the beginning of the question to oneself to whom heard the judgment of God. "Look and take note", it means to search and ask by own feet. Jeremiah looked for "one" who performs justice of God, but, that "one" was not found both in the poor people (4) and even in the high people of the social position (5) either. Because poor people did not have an opportunity to get an education, would he have thought that there was not power to see through rule and will of God? The knowledge and wisdom might afford to pay more attention to God, he has expected people who had high social position. However, he was not found even one person appropriate for the salvation that God expected. On the contrary, they said, "Not He; misfortune will not come on us; and we will not see sword or famine." (12). They have heard words of Jeremiah, and said "And the prophets are as winds, and the word is not in them. Thus it will be done to them!" (13). They cannot help denying becoming like this. Because 新改訳 is incomprehensible, we will hear from other reason. "The words of the prophets are vain. Even if they say that 'Something like this occurs', but it does not come true." (free translation). Because prophets were plural (新改訳), it would not be only from Jeremiah that they heard it. Jeremiah and the prophet who were active for almost the same period had Habakkuk or Zephaniah, and they also had talked about warning of extinction to the Judah kingdom. However, Judah did not hear it. They refused prophets. However, even if Jeremiah has been refused how much, he gropes the way to be saved of Judah without giving up still.
Ⅱ However, not found
"O Lord, do not Thine eyes look for truth? Thou hast smitten them, but they did not weaken; Thou hast consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent." (3) Because we already watched Jeremiah who searched for one person performing the justice of the Lord to the house of "poor people" and "people having high social position", you might be thought that order became the consequences, but these are questions of Jeremiah as a reconfirmation. When he went around the streets looking for the "one" who has justice, they said "As the Lord lives." (2). However, it was an empty deception. They deny, "the words of prophets are not realized", and on the other hand, they say "As the Lord lives", and do do a claim as if they have justice. Because, such a deception has root deeply in Israel, and they believe it is the faith to the Lord, and do not doubt it, so, they can not understand it, even if it is said that it is "a deception". It was their way of life. While God and a prophet talk repeatedly, their problems that they left from God and run to other gods, seemingly it is the very simple and plain estrangement, and I feel wonder why they do not know it is bad; but really, it is not such a simple thing. While Jeremiah asked the question of introspective to himself, they also were having an extraordinary inner conflict. It is a conflict that "As the Lord lives,". The excuse of people in Chapter 3 Verse 22b-25 seems to point at that conflict. If it was denied suddenly, they would refuse to listen. In the modern Gospel propagation, it seems the point that we must notice.
It may be a cause in there that Jeremiah repeats an introspection-like question. Therefore, he asked to God, "O Lord, do not Thine eyes look for truth?". This appears to be the question to God, but in fact, it is the question to himself of Jeremiah. Here, the content of the question was not recited; but, they had to know that God was a Creator and they were creatures. They have forgotten that fact. Therefore, they deny that God is their God unconcernedly, and do not notice that they are loved by God. It is totally modern people itself. It is "the truth". However, that truth is not in the people, but is only in God. In light of that truth, Jeremiah concludes again that it is a deception in people. God is going to perform condemnation of Israel because of their deception. However, not to deception, will he be not there really, even if the person who is going to pay attention to the truth of God is alone? However, Jeremiah was not able to find it.
Ⅲ What will you do?
"'Yet even in those days' declares the Lord, 'I will not make you a complete destruction. And it shall come about when they say, 'Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?' then you shall say to them, 'As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours.'" (18-19) For a reason he could not find one person, would God destroy all of people?, it is not so. Babylon captivity did not extend to all the people. The people who were taken to Babylon were much more few than the people who stayed. Therefore, in this point, there are many people who say this is not a thing of Jeremiah and it was written down in the time of captivity, but it is not so; and, were the people who were left able to spend peaceful time as before?, it is not so, too. It was only said that they had been not taken, and its situation was miserable. The subject of Chapter 5 was a introspective questioning of Jeremiah; but in the background, there were words of God "Why should I pardon you?" (7). Therefore, Jeremiah asked, "If there was also one righteous, then you destroy this people still?". It became the origin for the question of Jeremiah, "And look, and take note." (1). The subject of this chapter, "Why should I pardon you?", must be heard in this sense, it is a question from God saying "Shall I not punish these people?". Even though Jeremiah has questioned over and over again, and has troubled why he has to tell such a message himself, it does not reach those who "have made their faces harder than rock" anymore.
"As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve strangers in a land that is not yours." This was the conclusion that God and Jeremiah arrived at. Their punishment, condemnation called captivity is clarified. The name of the country called Babylon is still hidden. But, "Behold, I am bringing a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel," declares the Lord "It is an enduring nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say." (15), this seems to show that Jeremiah has already known it. "But what will you do at the end of it?" (31) and this chapter is completed; but we would have to listen that it is asking to us today powerfully.