“My people are fools; they do not know me.They are senseless children; they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil; they know not how to do good” (Jeremiah 4:22).
Jeremiah weeps for his people, and the disaster he knows is coming because of their sin. He cries out to the Lord how long this must go on? How long must he see the death and coming destruction? And this is God's answer. His children don't really know Him. They have never grown up to be responsible spiritual adults. They are senseless, and have no understanding of what it means to live a righteous life. The selfishly live for themselves, and in doing so they epitomize what is evil. Life is all about what they want. His children have become fools because they have refused to live in integrity and honesty.
As I read this Scripture this morning, I prayed for our country. The correlation between Jerusalem and America is very strong. We live foolish lives as if nothing matters. We shake our fists in God's face and demand our own way. We, who claim to be Christian, don't lead responsible lives. Honesty and integrity are two virtues that have become foreign to us. We live as if there will be no accountability for our actions.
“The whole land will be ruined,” the Lord says, “though I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent, I have decided and will not turn back” (Jeremiah 4:27-28). Jeremiah speaks of the marching armies that will come against God's children, and how pretense of good will not save them. They can't make themselves look God for God. He looks for clean hearts. Jeremiah hears “a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child—the cry of Daughter Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, 'Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers'” (Jeremiah 4:31).
Our country may also be ruined if we do not repent of our evil ways. We, too, shall one day be overrun, and we will be cornered.... just as the woman who cries out for deliverance in verse 31. If we are not careful, God will one day turn us over to our reprobate ways. One day he may not have anything more to do with us.
“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,” God declares to Jeremiah, “look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city” (Jeremiah 5:1). Just as God looked for that one person in Jerusalem, He looks today for people who are faithful to Him....who seek Him...who pray... who love Him above all else.
Pray to be a person of honesty and integrity. Pray for our nation to rise up and live in virtuous integrity. Pray for our leaders to live lives of integrity and honesty. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). God looks on the heart, and that is where He makes His assessment. How is yours? How is mine?