“‘Run up and down every street in Jerusalem,’ says the Lord. ‘Look high and low; send throughout the city! If you can find even one person who is just and honest, I will not destroy the city. Even when they are under oath . . . they all tell lie’s” (Jer. 5:1-2, NLT).
1. One righteous man. What was God’s requirement to save his nation? 2. A few good men. What is the military looking for? 3. What were the qualifications to the search?
a. Take as long as he needed. b. Search the whole city. “The streets . . . the open places.” c. One honest man. Diogenes the Cynic in 350 BC carried a lantern in the daylight. What was he looking for?
4. The common people had God’s name on their lips, but . . .
a. Spiritual denial. “‘They have lied about the Lord; they said, ‘He will do nothing’” (5:11). b. False worship. “‘The house of Israel . . . have been utterly been unfaithful to me,’ says the Lord” (5:11). c. Religious perjury. “They say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ surely they swear falsely” (5:2).
B. WAS THERE AN HONEST MAN AMONG THE POOR?
1. None among the common people. Jeremiah concluded “These are only the poor; they are foolish, for they do not know the way of the Lord” (5:4).
2. No. Did any learn obedience through suffering? “You – Lord – have stricken them, but they have not grieved” (5:3).
3. Rejection. What was their reaction to God’s chastisement? “They made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return” (5:3).
4. They sin because of ignorance. What do we conclude about the poor?
C. WAS THERE AN HONEST MAN AMONG THE LEADERS?
1. Money and titles. Why did Jeremiah go to the great men? “I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God” (5:5).
2. No. Was there an honest man among the prominent men? “These have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds” (5:5).
Poor didn’t know better. Prominent sinned in defiance.
D. WAS THERE AN HONEST PERSON AMONG CHILDREN?
1. No righteous child. “Your children have forsaken Me (God), and sworn by those that are not gods” (5:7a).
2. Sex-crazed generation. What was the sin of the young? “They committed adultery and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses . . . like well-fed stallions, they neighed after his neighbor’s wife” (5:7-8). The word yitgodadu, “by troops,” is the word for arranging an army in ranks and files. To worship a false god and commit adultery, they had to “take a number.”
D. WAS THERE AN HONEST MAN AMONG THE PREACHERS?
1. Windbags not spirit filled. “The prophets are filled with hot air, and the Word of God is not in them. So let what they say about judgment be done to them” (5:13, ELT).
E. CAN WE FIND A PERFECT RIGHTEOUS MAN?
1. No. “There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins” (Ecc. 7:20).
2. Total depravity. How extensively has sin influenced us?
a. Intellect, “None who understand” (Rom. 3:11). b. Emotions. “Their tongues have practiced deceit” (Rom. 3:13). c. Will. “None seek after God” (Rom. 3:11).
3. The core is sinful. Why there is no honest man? “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jer 17:9).
4. You cannot even know your heart.
a. Self deceived. “Who can know it (your heart)” (17:9)? b. Divine revelation. “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways” (17:10).
F. AVERAGE MEN MAKE GREAT MEN
1. God still searches. “I sought for a man . . . to stand in the gap before me on behalf of the Lord, that I should not destroy it” (Ez. 23:20). 2. Abraham an idol worshipper. 3. Joseph a braggart. 4. Moses a murderer and stutterer. 5. Caleb too old. 6. Gideon a coward. 7. Samson a whoremonger. 8. David a shepherd boy. 9. Elijah a complainer. 10. Jeremiah a weeper. 11. John the Baptist a recluse. 12. Peter a denier. 13. Thomas a doubter. 14. Paul a murderer. 15. God can use these; He can use me!
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about your salvation experience so that we can rejoice with you.