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.
Chapter five has the title Not One is Upright in the NIV and Jerusalem Refused to Repent in the ESV. Most translations with a title have titles similar or related to these two and with good reason. This is made clear in verses one and two
1 “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.
2 Although they say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ still they are swearing falsely.”
Wow, not even one could be found. Sodom could not find ten to avoid destruction and given a chance to escape the destruction the men who were to marry Lot’s daughters refused to flee with his family. Abraham started at fifty and ended at ten asking God not to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.
32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.” Genesis 18
A quick reminder that the destruction of Sodom was not solely related to her detestable sexual sins, but also their treatment of the poor and needy.
49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ezekiel 18
So we read in our verse of the day the people of Jerusalem have stubborn and rebellious hearts; they have turned aside and gone away. Literally, they have turned their backs on God and walked away from Him because of their stubborn and rebellious hearts. The rebellion was so great they could not acknowledge God ‘… who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’ As a result they ignored the blessings He provided in their lives. And further their sins deprived them of good.
I wonder how often, how very infrequently, we consider how our sins, our stubborn and rebellious hearts keep us away from blessings God has intended for us. God’s incredible faithfulness and love is demonstrated even here when He says
18 “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely.”
Instead a remnant will go into exile and 70 years later return to rebuild Jerusalem. Then when sin had grown so great He could have caused another flood as in Noah’s time, but He had promised He would never do so again. Instead he once again demonstrated His incredible love for us.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3
What a blessing to know such a loving and faithful God.