The idols that had drawn the interests of God’s children proved to be useless in their greatest times of need. That’s always the case! God confronts His children in their sin. God woos them back to their homes with His love. God strives with the wayward child out of His 08 wakingunfailing love for them. But like Israel we often find fault with God’s program rather than with our sin. The worst part of this dynamic is that sometimes God’s confrontations and discipline have no effect and we insist on persevering in our sin. Not only did they persevere in sin, they attacked God’s messengers. Jeremiah 2:30 makes this clear. God says, “In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.”

Constance rightly observes, “Sin can so sear our conscience that all sense of right and wrong is totally distorted. This was the condition of Israel at this time. How familiar this is today. Things once considered in violation of God’s Word are now twisted to the place that wrong is considered right. How important it is that we study God’s Word and not be led by what society considers right but base our character and conduct on what God’s Word has to say about living a godly life and that which is in opposition to a godly life. These are sobering thoughts.”[1]

No amount of discipline and correction could change Israel. Their hearts had been hardened as Pharaoh’s heart was hardened against the plagues. It mattered not! There is a point in God’s striving with man that man becomes, because of his rebellion, irredeemable. The “ravening lion” of verse 30, depicts a carnivorous animal that will stop at nothing but your flesh and blood. Irredeemable evil is pictured for us in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Orcs, but more recently in the “Walking Dead’s” zombies. Nothing will stop them in the quest for your blood. Nothing will sate their thirst to make you like them. No appeal, no warning, no pleading will stop them. Only force! Because of His love for those who are still redeemable God acts to bring His justice on the irredeemable. During Jeremiah’s day there was still hope. There is for us as well!

[1] Mrs. T. M. Constance, Jeremiah, vol. 1 (Dickson, TN: Explorer’s Bible Study, 1978), 13.