Much to the same purport, as the general scope of Jeremiah's preaching, is the subject of this chapter. The folly and sin of carnal confidence; and the blessedness and security of the divine trust, are beautifully set forth. The Lord's knowledge of the heart is strikingly insisted upon as an evidence of his sovereignty.
What is here said of Judah's sin, may be equally said of all men's sins: they are cut in and formed in the very heart. Nothing short of a new heart, wrought by the Lord himself, can form a change. Ezekiel 36:26.
Observe when the Lord threatens punishment, he still speaks of his mountain and his people. Israel and Judah are still the Lord's, though chastened with the chastisement of a man. Jeremiah 31:20.
Reader! as you read these verses do not fail to enquire, in what this sin of trusting in man consisteth: that we may avoid the punishment. May not that man be said to have fallen into it, who placeth the least confidence in his own righteousness, to the slighting the full and complete justifying righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 10:3.
What a beautiful contrast do these verses contain, to those which were before; and in what a lovely manner is that well founded trust in the Lord pointed out, under the similitude of a tree planted by the river. Reader! only make reference of what is here said to the Church planted in Christ, and by Christ, the Tree of life, and what glories pour in upon the soul, from such a view of the doctrine? Revelation 22:2.
Had we no other authority than what these verses furnish, here is enough to prove, that after all our knowledge of ourselves, we have not arrived to the perfect apprehension to what a state of sin and self-deception man is reduced by the fall. But however ignorant we are of ourselves to the Lord, the most secret thoughts of our heart are open. What an argument ariseth from hence, to beg the Lord to cleanse us from our secret faults, and to bring us to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. Psalms 19:12; Zechariah 13:1.
Some naturalists have given this account of the Partridge. And it forms a striking representation of the man of riches brooding over his riches, which after all bring forth nothing but disappointment. See our Lord's account, Luke 12:16-21.
This passage seems to be a break in the midst of the Prophet's sermon, in which he fervently addresseth the Lord in prayer, and a blessed prayer it is. It needs no comment: for it is as plain as it is earnest. These are blessed interruptions to preaching, when the Man of God leaves off for a moment speaking to his people, from God in order to speak for his people to God.
No sooner had the Prophet finished his prayer, than he begins again his Sermon. It is a delightful transition from preaching to prayer, and from prayer to preaching. Both form a part in the minister's commission. We have here God's command blended with his promise, for the sanctification of the sabbath. Oh! who can read it, and the awful judgments connected with the breach of the sabbath, but must tremble for our British Judah and Jerusalem? Oh! for the Lord to pour out of the residue of his Holy Spirit, that we may reverence his sabbaths!
WHEN I read of the state of sin on the heart of Judah, as stated in this Chapter: and when I consider, what my own heart saith of the same, and the testimony of God concerning the desperately wicked state of every man's heart by nature: my soul feels humbled to the dust, and like the leper we read of, I feel constrained to cry out, unclean, unclean! But oh precious Jesus, thou that art the hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof, heal me, and I shall be healed: save me, and I shall be saved!
And my soul, ponder well the striking difference between the confidence founded in the Lord Jesus's blood and righteousness; and that trust which is in an arm of flesh. Behold the blessedness of the one, and the awful curse on the other. Oh! thou blessed Lord Jesus, be thou to me the unceasing source of life, and health, and strength, and confidence; and let not my soul be as the barren heath, that knoweth not when good cometh, and as the parched places in the wilderness, that is, as a salt land not inhabited.
Blessed, forever blessed be the Lord for the sabbath, that sweet day for men! Oh! for grace to honour it, to reverence it, to love it, and to sanctify and hallow it to the Lord's glory. Oh thou great Lord of the sabbath, preserve it to our nation, to our people; and be thou the very sabbath of our souls, and our hope of glory forever. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 17". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany