Jeremiah 5

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Read Jeremiah 5

Not One Is Upright

“Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem,
    look around and consider,
    search through her squares.
If you can find but one person
    who deals honestly and seeks the truth,
    I will forgive this city.
Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
    still they are swearing falsely.”

Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
    You struck them, but they felt no pain;
    you crushed them, but they refused correction.
They made their faces harder than stone
    and refused to repent.
I thought, “These are only the poor;
    they are foolish,
for they do not know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.
So I will go to the leaders
    and speak to them;
surely they know the way of the Lord,
    the requirements of their God.”
But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke
    and torn off the bonds.
Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
    a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
    to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
    and their backslidings many.

“Why should I forgive you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and sworn by gods that are not gods.
I supplied all their needs,
    yet they committed adultery
    and thronged to the houses of prostitutes.
They are well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for another man’s wife.
Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

10 “Go through her vineyards and ravage them,
    but do not destroy them completely.
Strip off her branches,
    for these people do not belong to the Lord.
11 The people of Israel and the people of Judah
    have been utterly unfaithful to me,”
declares the Lord.

12 They have lied about the Lord;
    they said, “He will do nothing!
No harm will come to us;
    we will never see sword or famine.
13 The prophets are but wind
    and the word is not in them;
    so let what they say be done to them.”

14 Therefore this is what the Lord God Almighty says:

“Because the people have spoken these words,
    I will make my words in your mouth a fire
    and these people the wood it consumes.
15 People of Israel,” declares the Lord,
    “I am bringing a distant nation against you—
an ancient and enduring nation,
    a people whose language you do not know,
    whose speech you do not understand.
16 Their quivers are like an open grave;
    all of them are mighty warriors.
17 They will devour your harvests and food,
    devour your sons and daughters;
they will devour your flocks and herds,
    devour your vines and fig trees.
With the sword they will destroy
    the fortified cities in which you trust.

18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely. 19 And when the people ask, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all this to us?’ you will tell them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your own land, so now you will serve foreigners in a land not your own.’

20 “Announce this to the descendants of Jacob
    and proclaim it in Judah:
21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people,
    who have eyes but do not see,
    who have ears but do not hear:
22 Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord.
    “Should you not tremble in my presence?
I made the sand a boundary for the sea,
    an everlasting barrier it cannot cross.
The waves may roll, but they cannot prevail;
    they may roar, but they cannot cross it.
23 But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts;
    they have turned aside and gone away.
24 They do not say to themselves,
    ‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives autumn and spring rains in season,
    who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’
25 Your wrongdoings have kept these away;
    your sins have deprived you of good.

26 “Among my people are the wicked
    who lie in wait like men who snare birds
    and like those who set traps to catch people.
27 Like cages full of birds,
    their houses are full of deceit;
they have become rich and powerful
28     and have grown fat and sleek.
Their evil deeds have no limit;
    they do not seek justice.
They do not promote the case of the fatherless;
    they do not defend the just cause of the poor.
29 Should I not punish them for this?”
    declares the Lord.
“Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?

30 “A horrible and shocking thing
    has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy lies,
    the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
    But what will you do in the end?

Go Deeper

Jeremiah’s confrontation of Judah’s rebellion and unfaithfulness continues in this chapter. The Lord challenges Jeremiah to find one person who seeks the truth in Jerusalem, but sadly his quest discovers there is no one. The people of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to the Lord. They refuse to believe the warnings from the Lord concluding that God will do nothing: “No harm will come to us.” Even the prophets lie about God and the priests rule in their own power apart from the Lord. Therefore, the Lord Almighty tells Jeremiah to warn Judah of a distant nation coming against them. Because they have forsaken the Lord and worshiped foreign gods, they will serve foreigners in another land. Jeremiah continues to reveal the consequences of their refusal to fear the Lord. 

Admittedly, reading the warnings and description of the Lord’s judgment is intense. It is also disturbing to consider Jeremiah’s assessment of the unfaithful, foolish, and senseless people of Judah. They have rejected the Lord who has supplied all their needs, given autumn and spring rains, and provided regular weeks of harvest. They have pursued other gods rather than their God and their evil deeds have no limit. It is not shocking to read the question God asks, “Should I not punish them for this?” Jeremiah concludes in this chapter that not only have the prophets lied about God and the priests abused their God given authority, but also the people love it this way. 

These sobering words given to Jeremiah from the Lord reveal the hard, wicked unrepentant hearts of the people. No wonder Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet! However, in the middle of this chapter, there is a glimpse of God’s mercy that we must not miss. In verse 10, the Lord declares “Do not destroy them completely.” In verse 18, He repeats these merciful words, “Yet, even in those days (of the distant nation attack), I will not destroy you completely.” From God’s warning of judgment to His mercy by not fully eliminating the unfaithful in Jerusalem, we can cling to the truth: God is merciful!

Today, we experience His mercy through God’s Son, Jesus. Just as Jeremiah was unsuccessful in finding one faithful, righteous person, the same failed quest would be true in our midst. Romans 3:10 describes this: “there is no one righteous, not even one…” Thanks be to our Merciful and Gracious God for providing our salvation, our rescue through faith in Jesus! 


  1. How does Jeremiah’s description of the people of Judah resemble our culture? 
  2. How deeply are you burdened for the spiritual peril of others
  3. With whom will you share the hope of our Merciful Savior today or this week?

Pray This

Please forgive me for my refusal to see the desperate need around me and the numbness to the disaster awaiting those who refuse to call out to You as Lord and Savior. Break my heart, as you touched Jeremiah’s, for what breaks Yours. Lead me to share boldly the mercy and hope You offer in Jesus.


Leave a Comment Below

Did you learn something today? Share it with our Bible Reading Plan community by commenting below.

Join the Team

Interested in writing for the Bible Reading Plan? Email

6 thoughts on “Jeremiah 5”

  1. Ella Snodgrass

    The question that all must answer is found in the last verse of the chapter, “But what will you do in the end?” Most are caught up in the rhythms of this world without a thought to their final day. We have the ability through scripture, prayer and the Holy Spirit to discern good from evil. Where we invest today determines our tomorrow. Revelations 21:4 reminds us that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” When we are wearied by the ways of this world, our comfort lies in Jesus and the true hope he offers both now and eternally.

    1. Such a good point Ella. That last sentence is a doozy, “What will you (we, I) do in the end?” Cling to Jesus is the answer, but raises another question. “Will he know you (us, me)?” For those that ABIDE in Christ, the answer will be “yes.”

      Please check out the Abide sermon series to learn more to know what it means to Abide in Christ and prepare for what we will do in the end.

  2. Little white lies. We say we believe in what Jesus accomplished and we believe it all but we compromise just like what Jeremiah is describing. We do our on thing thinking, hoping and asking God for forgiveness with these little white lies of compromise. Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of something? He expects change. He wrestles with us and brings things to our attention again and again. Are you listening? Are you seeing what He’s pointing out? The choices we make after determine whether we receive a blessing or upheaval in our life. I am not really speeding by going 3 miles over the speed limit is one of my compromises. God forgive me. This too has to stop. We should not, especially when God shines a light on it, do what we should not do. Do you really understand what Jesus did by giving His life and dieing for me/you and how God raised Him from the dead so that you/I can have eternal life? Though God could/should have destroyed me/you for our compromises, He chooses to love us instead. Jesus paid for every “respectable sin” that you and I have committed (or are still committing). What can you and I change today?

    God I am so ashamed of my actions. Thank You that You are willing to forgive me. God I am so amazed at Your Word and how it brings to light and life where, how, and what I need every single day!!! Thank You for shining Your light on and through my life to help me be who You have called me. God continue to show me where I compromise so that I can get rid of that. Only You are worthy of being the center of my life. Thank You for loving me beyond all I can ask or think. Thank You that I can enter the Holy of Holies and push into Your presence because You want me there!!!! WOOHOO!!! God thank You for every minute of this day to enjoy You in Jesus name amen.

  3. One of my children — who has loved God deeply since early childhood — has wandered into a wilderness of moral compromise and does not see a way out. They are following the crowd down the wide, easy path into “spiritual peril.”

    My mother’s heart is burdened and breaking.

    Coveting prayers they would “abandon their wicked ways and banish every evil thought. Let them return to God, and they will experience his compassionate mercy and forgiveness” (from Isaiah 55:7).

    1. Praying bold prayers that they would return to the God of their childhood where he waits with open arms.

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    Being transparent here. I have been guilty of the mundane day to day actions of life even though I love Jesus with all my heart and have taught my sons to do the same. My focus over this past year in Re-Gen has been to study God’s word and obey it. Do I fail at times, yes, but I repent and return to His ways imperfectly. I yearn to hear Abba Father’s words, “Well done, good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things. I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Matthew 25;23 How precious to be in the joy of the Lord! Amen?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.