Jeremiah 5.1 commands 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.
The God of the Old Testament in the Bible gets a bad rap often because of all the killing He allows and even commands at various times among various people. While these things certainly did happen and will actually happen again, the real story is God’s attempt to keep them from happening but people choose to ignore Him.
The very first story in the Bible identifies humanity as disobeying God but God seeking to reconcile them back to Himself, though not without consequence.
The next story has the prophet Noah warning people that they are disobeying God but no one repents. God destroys the living upon the earth but redeems a few.
While all the world continues to rebel against God He chooses one man through whom He will reveal Himself: Abraham. This man becomes a nation who know the One True God in a world where rebellion against God is the norm.
Though God removes previous inhabitants from His choice land, He does so only after allowing a 400 year pause to His plan for allowing the current inhabitants to turn toward the One True God in faith.
After settling His people and blessing them they continue to ignore and rebel against Him resulting in their demise but again, this demise takes hundreds of years because the Holy One Who is perfect in all His ways is loving and merciful begging and pleading for His people to respond to Him in love so He does not have to respond to them in discipline.
Our verse today is a record of God’s attempt at this reconciliation with His people. If only one person would do what God desires He would spare a city of hundreds of thousands but alas not one can be found.
In the end His people are scattered until God makes His personal appearance in Jesus Who is both God and Man. In Him we find salvation for His sacrifice has paid the penalty for all our rebellion from all time but we must appropriate His work to our lives by faith demonstrated by obedience.
Yet we still struggle to love God and obey His commands.
Our current difficulties both locally and globally are the result of our constant rebellion against God by ignoring and intentionally disobeying the good things God has commanded us to do for all of our benefit.
Yet if even a few of us will seek God, will obey His commands, we can keep the Holy One from bringing forth the Justice He is so justified in delivering to us who are constantly rebellious.