In his search for one righteous man by which God would pardon all sinners, Jeremiah realizes finally that his cause is hopeless. He looked amongst the poor; he found no one. He looked amongst the rich; he found no one. He even looked to children and noticed that the 14 give thanksdepravity of man was in every one. In Jeremiah 5:7 he records God’s response to his failure to find one righteous man. God says, “How can I pardon you? Your children have forsaken me and have sworn by those who are no gods. When I fed them to the full, they committed adultery and trooped to the houses of whores.”

Ryken says, “Jeremiah could not find even one righteous child. Nor could he find a righteous adult, for they were too busy committing religious adultery. Like most good preachers, Jeremiah often repeated himself. Here he gives another reminder that although his people were married to the living God, they had been lavishing their affection on dead idols. As noted in the first chapter, this adultery may have been literal as well as figurative, since many of the ancient religions—for example, Baal worship—included temple prostitution. In this case, the people of Jerusalem ‘thronged to the houses of prostitutes’ (v. 7b). The word for thronging here is a word for organizing an army into ranks and files. God’s people lined up to worship idols. Anyone who worshiped at the temples of the false gods had to take a number.”[1]

God bestowed all His blessings on His loved ones, He “fed them to the full” and they turned to others for satisfaction in life. One of my resources explained ingratitude this way; “Ingratitude denotes spiritual immaturity.  Infants do not always appreciate what parents do for them.  They have short memories.  Their concern is not what you did for me yesterday, but what are you doing for me today. The past is meaningless and so is the future.  They live for the present. Those who are mature are deeply appreciative of those who labored in the past.  They recognize those who labor during the present and provide for those who will be laboring in the future.”[2] May we always live in the light of God’s many blessings every day. Benjamin Franklin once prayed, “And forasmuch as ingratitude is one of the most odious of vices, let me not be unmindful gratefully to acknowledge the favours I receive from Heaven.… For all Thy innumerable benefits; for life and reason, and the use of speech, for health and joy and every pleasant hour, my Good God, I thank Thee.[3]

[1] Philip Graham Ryken, Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 87.

[2] Galaxie Software, 10,000 Sermon Illustrations (Biblical Studies Press, 2002).

[3] William J. Federer, Great Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced according to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001).