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We have in this Chapter, a renewed instance of the incorrigible hardness of the human heart, void of divine grace. Johanan pretendeth to seek after God, and enquireth of the Prophet. Jeremiah kindly tells the people, but in vain.
Hitherto the character of Johanan seems to have been fair. The zeal he manifested against Ishmael, and the recovery of the captives, is well succeeded by this enquiry. But alas! what sincerity is there in man? The Lord hath given a representation of all such characters, by his servant the Prophet. Ezekiel 33:30-32 .
Nothing can be more promising than this engagement on both sides. We shall see how the matter ends.
Reader! do remark the graciousness of God. And recollect, that from the first threatenings, such was the uniform language the Lord used. And had Zedekiah listened to it, what calamities would have been spared. But, Reader, do not overlook also the personal interest that we have, in the present hour, to the same truths. If sinners look stedfastly to Jesus, and trust to his righteousness, and stay themselves upon it, without an eye to the righteousness of the creature, their salvation would be also near. But if we make the reeds of Egypt our confidence, instead of the Rock of Ages, what is this but the same conduct as Johanan, and the people with him.
I cannot sufficiently admire the faithfulness of the Prophet, in times of such general danger. What an uniformity Jeremiah manifested, in his office of speaking the truths of God. Oh! for the Lord to give his Church, in all ages, faithful ministers like him, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear!
READER! you and I shall lose all the beauties of these scriptures, if from the representation here made of the Church, in the days of Jeremiah we do not gather instruction, to suit the Church in our's. Depend upon it in all ages, more or less, it is the same. Oh! how doth Zion languish! How are the glorious distinguishing truths of our holy faith kept back, or believed only in part! And as these pillars, and ground of the truth, are but coolly received; so in proportion, like Johanan and his party, we are looking more to an arm of flesh for our confidence, than to the living God. Thus turning from one creature to another, we seek salvation from any, and from every resource, rather than the one great and finished redemption of Jesus! Oh that the Lord would give his people grace, that in the present hour the advice of Jeremiah might be followed; that we may abide in Christ, that the Lord might build us up, and plant us in the glorious salvation by Jesus! For then when the Lord comes to bless his land and people, he will bring with him grace to pardon, grace to renew, grace to sanctify, grace to save, and an abundance of grace, to enable us to triumph; over all our enemies. Precious Lord! fulfil all thy merciful dispensations towards us, and return to thy people, as thou hast said, a pure language, that they may call upon the name of the Lord with one consent.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Jeremiah 42". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany