The Jews in Egypt persist in idolatry. (1-14) They refuse to
reform. (15-19) Jeremiah then denounces destruction upon them.
God reminds the Jews of the sins that brought desolations
upon Judah. It becomes us to warn men of the danger of sin with
all seriousness: Oh, do not do it! If you love God, do not, for
it is provoking to him; if you love your own souls, do not, for
it is destructive to them. Let conscience do this for us in the
hour of temptation. The Jews whom God sent into the land of the
Chaldeans, were there, by the power of God's grace, weaned from
idolatry; but those who went by their own perverse will into the
land of the Egyptians, were there more attached than ever to
their idolatries. When we thrust ourselves without cause or call
into places of temptation, it is just with God to leave us to
ourselves. If we walk contrary to God, he will walk contrary to
us. The most awful miseries to which men are exposed, are
occasioned by the neglect of offered salvation.
These daring sinners do not attempt excuses, but declare
they will do that which is forbidden. Those who disobey God,
commonly grow worse and worse, and the heart is more hardened by
the deceitfulness of sin. Here is the real language of the
rebellious heart. Even the afflictions which should have parted
them from their sins, were taken so as to confirm them in their
sins. It is sad when those who should quicken each other to what
is good, and so help one another to heaven, harden each other in
sin, and so ripen one another for hell. To mingle idolatry with
Divine worship, and to reject the mediation of Christ, are
provoking to God, and ruinous to men. All who worship images, or
honour saints, and angels, and the queen of heaven, should
recollect what came from the idolatrous practices of the Jews.
Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned
against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not.
Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God
would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were
among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences
from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those
from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God
makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of
our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with
repentance and obedience.