Heart of darkness, never at rest.
Starts by describing the unstoppable, indelible nature of sin. It’s carved deep with sharp diamond, defacing our holiness.
Certainly we’ve spent the whole Bible, since the garden, with a relentless beat of rebellion under all the stories of the great moments and inspired leaders.
The folk religion, the idols, never stop. It’s fruit is human sacrifice, sexual exploitation. Can’t clean that stain alone.
Jeremiah writes the anti Psalm 1. Blessed is the man whose delight is in God. And cursed is the man whose trust is in men, they will wither.
Trust in idols is really trust in men for people who have had the true God revealed. If they choose another ‘god’ they are choosing their own rebellious heart.
Despair comes into Jeremiah’s awareness of the sickness and deceitfulness of his own heart, he asks God to search it. He makes an intensely felt plea for his own mercy and forgiveness. When he asks God for refuge, you sense again how hard he finds his life.
A similar point is made with treasure metaphors, heavenly treasure is like the highest throne, a kingdom of peace that lasts forever.
Those who love earthly treasure are compared the Partridge, which had the reputation of sitting on other birds eggs. Earthly wealth flys away.
Jeremiah is sent to the streets to do the crazy prophet with the sandwich board thing again. This time he is to call them to one of the 10 commandments, the Sabbath.
Why that? Hebrews expands the concept, it is God’s rest. Israel’s observing of the Sabbath is a symbol of their rest in God, the end of rebellion, the end of fighting.
There are 3 positive images in this chapter of God’s world: a beautiful tree planted by a river, a kingdom of peace above all others and rest, sweet safe rest.
But always in Jeremiah the bleak conclusion that the people won’t choose life, the message will go unheeded.