The invasion of Judea. (1-8) The justice of God's proceedings. (9-17) All methods used to amend them had been without success. (18-30)
Verses 1-8 Whatever methods are used, it is vain to contend with God's judgments. The more we indulge in the pleasures of this life, the more we unfit ourselves for the troubles of this life. The Chaldean army shall break in upon the land of Judah, and in a little time devour all. The day is coming, when those careless and secure in sinful ways will be visited. It is folly to trifle when we have eternal salvation to work out, and the enemies of that salvation to fight against. But they were thus eager, not that they might fulfil God's counsels, but that they might fill their own treasures; yet God thereby served his own purposes. The corrupt heart of man, in its natural state, casts out evil thoughts, just as a fountain casts out her waters. It is always flowing, yet always full. The God of mercy is loth to depart even from a provoking people, and is earnest with them, that by repentance and reformation, they may prevent things from coming to extremity.
Verses 9-17 When the Lord arises to take vengeance, no sinners of any age or rank, or of either sex escape. They were set upon the world, and wholly carried away by the love of it. If we judge of this sin by God's word, we find multitudes in every station and rank given up to it. Those are to be reckoned our worst and most dangerous enemies, who flatter us in a sinful way. Oh that men would be wise for their souls! Ask for the old paths; the way of godliness and righteousness has always been the way God has owned and blessed. Ask for the old paths set forth by the written word of God. When you have found the good way, go on in it, you will find abundant recompence at your journey's end. But if men will not obey the voice of God and flee to his appointed Refuge, it will plainly appear at the day of judgment, that they are ruined because they reject God's word.
Verses 18-30 God rejects their outward services, as worthless to atone for their sins. Sacrifice and incense were to direct them to a Mediator; but when offered to purchase a license to go on in sin, they provoke God. The sins of God's professing people make them an easy prey to their enemies. They dare not show themselves. Saints may rejoice in hope of God's mercies, though they see them only in the promise: sinners must mourn for fear of God's judgments, though they see them only in the threatenings. They are the worst of revolters, and are all corrupters. Sinners soon become tempters. They are compared to ore supposed to have good metal in it, but which proves all dross. Nothing will prevail to part between them and their sins. Reprobate silver shall they be called, useless and worthless. When warnings, corrections, rebukes, and all means of grace, leave men unrenewed, they will be left, as rejected of God, to everlasting misery. Let us pray, then, that we may be refined by the Lord, as silver is refined.
This chapter is of the same argument with the former; and contains two things in it, the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and the causes of it, which are intermixedly handled in it; a lively description is made of the notice of the approach of the enemy by blowing of trumpets and firing of beacons, Jer 6:1, and of the siege of the city, by pitching tents around it, casting up a mount against it, and scaling its walls at noon and by night, Jer 6:2-6, and this destruction is illustrated by the simile of gleaning of grapes, Jer 6:9, and amplified by the universality of it, with respect to persons and things; it reaching to persons of every age, and in every state, as old men, young men, and children, husbands and wives, and to all sorts of possessions, houses and fields, Jer 6:11,12,21, a description is given of the instruments of it, the Chaldeans, Jer 6:22,23 and it is aggravated by the anxiety, distress, and sorrow, the Jews would be in on account of it, Jer 6:24-26, the causes of it are in general the great aboundings of sin and wickedness in the midst of them, illustrated by a fountain casting out its waters, Jer 6:6,7, in particular, their neglect and contempt of the word of the Lord, Jer 6:10, the sin of covetousness, which prevailed among all sorts of people, high and low, in civil or religious life, Jer 6:13, the unfaithfulness of the prophets to the people, declaring peace, when there was none, Jer 6:14, their impenitence and hardness, Jer 6:15, their disregard to all instructions and warnings, Jer 6:16,17, their rejection of the law, and the precepts of it, Jer 6:18,19, their hypocritical sacrifices, Jer 6:20, and the chapter is concluded with an address to the prophet, setting forth his character and office, and the end of it, Jer 6:27 and his testimony concerning the people, showing their obstinacy and stubbornness, illustrated by a simile of refining metal in a furnace without success, Jer 6:28-30.