Jeremiah 5 … Consider Him Whose Eyes Look for Truth

O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?… (5:3).

His Eyes Look for Truth; but the appalling and horrible truth is, His people have fallen in love with lies.

“An appalling and horrible thing
Has happened in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority;
And My people love it so!
But what will you do at the end of it?”

And the question is posed, where do you imagine your love for lies will lead? And the answer comes in the next verse.

“Flee for safety, O sons of Benjamin,
From the midst of Jerusalem!
Now blow a trumpet in Tekoa
And raise a signal over Beth-haccerem;
For evil looks down from the north,
And a great destruction,”
(Jeremiah 6:1).

Their love for lies will surely end in destruction. But oh, God’s heart, ever searching, ever desiring that His people would desire to love Him and His Truth. But as we have read repeatedly, His people are steadfast in one thing: faithlessness. And a challenge is put forth: search for anyone, just one, who makes His Justice and Truth a way of life.

“Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth,
Then I will pardon her,”

Remembering the literary style of the book of Jeremiah and its use of poetic devices, we should examine this charge to search “If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth,” as an example of hyperbole, an over-exaggeration to create emphasis and to make the readers understand the magnitude of the complaint.

“The Lord challenges anyone to find just one righteous person in Israel — a rhetorical way of charging that corruption pervaded the city.” NIV Study Bible

The overarching way of life for God’s people was steeped in such corruption that it had become the pervasive lifestyle throughout the land.

God had called Israel as His own, to the miraculous privilege of being brought into the Promised Land to be set apart unto Him, that they would be a witness and blessing to the surrounding nations.

For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed, just as the Lord your God had done to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed; 24 that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever,” (Joshua 4:23-24).

But instead of influencing others for God they became marked by their numerous transgressions and apostasies; and much of this chapter specifically foretells of the sure judgment they had rightfully earned that would come at the hands of the Babylonians.

Therefore a lion from the forest will slay them,
A wolf of the deserts will destroy them,
A leopard is watching their cities.
Everyone who goes out of them will be torn in pieces,
Because their transgressions are many,
Their apostasies are numerous.

And we are also shown the grim reality that God’s patience does indeed have limits.

“Why should I pardon you?
Your sons have forsaken Me
And sworn by those who are not gods.
When I had fed them to the full,
They committed adultery
And trooped to the harlot’s house.
“They were well-fed lusty horses,
Each one neighing after his neighbor’s wife.
“Shall I not punish these people,” declares the Lord,
“And on a nation such as this
Shall I not avenge Myself?”

And the promise of judgment is laid out, and the picture is gruesome but righteous and just, meting out His justice in keeping with their treacherous lies.

But even though He will avenge Himself, and even though His judgment will come, His Mercy will also come; and His people will come to understand Truth: His judgment would come because they had forsaken their God to serve the idols of the land.

“Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not make you a complete destruction.19 It shall come about when they say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ then you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you will serve strangers in a land that is not yours,’” (5:18-19).

Truth: Judgment would be deserved, but it would not end in complete destruction. For surely there were those who sought truth; surely Jeremiah was one, and Zephaniah who had been his mentor, and the prophets, Joel and Obadiah, who are believed to have been contemporaries of Jeremiah. And the Lord God Himself spoke of a remnant that would be gathered from where they had been scattered to be brought into the joy and praise of His salvation.

“Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply,” (Jeremiah 23:3).

For thus says the Lord,
“Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
And shout among the chief of the nations;
Proclaim, give praise and say,
‘O Lord, save Your people,
The remnant of Israel,’”
(Jeremiah 31:7).

As His Eyes Look for Truth we see Heart of Grace and His Hand of Mercy extended, that He would save all those who come to Him in Truth.

Consider Him Whose Eyes Look for Truth

In Jeremiah’s writings about what is false, we have much we can learn regarding where He Looks for Truth, that He might show us His Grace and Mercy. And once again, we are reminded that His priority for Truth in the life of every believer has not changed.

  • His Eyes Look for Truth in what we say.
    • “And although they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’
      Surely they swear falsely,”
    • “Because this people draw near with their words
      And honor Me with their lip service,
      But they remove their hearts far from Me,
      And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,”
      (Isaiah 29:13).
    • You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:
      ‘This people honors Me with their lips,
      But their heart is far away from Me.
      ‘But in vain do they worship Me,
      Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men,’”
      (Matthew 15:7-9).\
  • His Eyes Look for Truth in our attitude towards His correction.
    • O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth?
      You have smitten them,
      But they did not weaken;
      You have consumed them,
      But they refused to take correction.
      They have made their faces harder than rock;
      They have refused to repent.
    • My son, do not reject the discipline of the Lord
      Or loathe His reproof,
      12 For whom the Lord loves He reproves,
      Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights,
      (Proverbs 3:11-12).
    • It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? …11 All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, (Hebrews 12:7, 11).
  • His Eyes Look for Truth in our knowledge of His Ways.
    • Then I said, “They are only the poor,
      They are foolish;
      For they do not know the way of the Lord
      Or the ordinance of their God.
      “I will go to the great
      And will speak to them,
      For they know the way of the Lord
      And the ordinance of their God.”
      But they too, with one accord, have broken the yoke
      And burst the bonds,
    • “Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).
    • but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked, (1 John 2:5-6).
  • His Eyes Look for Truth in our love and faithfulness
    • “Why should I pardon you?
      Your sons have forsaken Me
      And sworn by those who are not gods.
      When I had fed them to the full,
      They committed adultery
      And trooped to the harlot’s house,”
    • “Only fear the Lord and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you,” (1 Samuel 12:24).
    • “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets,” (Matthew 22:36-39).

And throughout His Word we learn why He Looks for Truth, and it is always for our good that He might extend His Grace and Mercy.

  • His Eyes Look for Truth in order to support hearts that are completely His.
    • For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
  • His Eyes Look for Truth in order to deliver from death those who fear and hope in Him.
    • Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
      On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
      19 To deliver their soul from death
      And to keep them alive in famine
      , (Psalm 33:18).
  • His Eyes Look for Truth in order to attend to the prayers of the righteous.
    • For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
      And His ears attend to their prayer,
      But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,”
      (1 Peter 3:12).

How do we respond to Him Whose Eyes Look for Truth?

It should be our greatest concern and our greatest desire, that we would know and live Truth, since that is what He Looks for, that He might extend His Grace and Mercy through His strong support, His deliverance from death, and His attendance to our prayers. But first, there must be the Grace of His pardon, and the Mercy of His forgiveness for our sins.

“Roam to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
And look now and take note.
And seek in her open squares,
If you can find a man,
If there is one who does justice, who seeks truth,
Then I will pardon her,”

To begin with, we will never know His forgiveness until we know Truth; and Truth is a Person.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” (John 14:6).

And when we come to know Jesus through faith, we will be set free from the lies of this world to seek and know Truth will all our hearts.

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free,” (John 8:32).

His Eyes Look for Truth in our words, our attitude, our knowledge, and our love and faithfulness; and He has faithfully provided all we need to grow to become that one who does justice and seeks truth with all that we are.

And His Eyes Look for Truth in our worship. Let us be deliberate to offer all that we are in spirit and in truth, for if we know the Grace and Mercy of the Truth of His salvation in Jesus, the time to worship Him is now, today and every day.

“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth,” (John 4:23-24).

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, (Romans 12:1).

Let us be deliberate to worship Him Whose His Eyes Look for Truth:

  • … as we obey and hunger for His Truth.
    • “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord,” (Deuteronomy 8:1-3).
  • … as we believe His Word is Truth.
    • The sum of Your word is truth,
      And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting,
      (Psalm 119:160).
  • … as we call upon Him in Truth.
    • The Lord is near to all who call upon Him,
      To all who call upon Him in truth,
      (Psalm 145:18).
  • …as we follow His Spirit of Truth.
    • “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come,”   (John 16:13).

Oh, let us pray that as we obey and hunger for His Truth, as we believe His Word and call upon Him in Truth, and as we follow His Holy Spirit, He will grow us in our worship that we would live by faith in His Truth. Oh, that we could live like His apostle Paul, and when we are seen by Him Whose Eyes Look for Truth, He will see Truth as He sees Jesus living His life in us.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me, (Galatians 2:20).

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply