(23) But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
(24) They do not say in their heart,
"Let us now fear the LORD our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest."
(25) Your iniquities have turned these things away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
(26) 'For among My people are found wicked men;
They lie in wait as one who sets snares;
They set a trap;
They catch men.
(27) As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
(28) They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
(29) Shall I not punish them for these things?' says the LORD.
'Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?'
(30) "An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
(31) The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end?
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These verses are God's charge against Israel during the prophet Jeremiah's day. However, nothing has changed since God raised those righteous men and women as examples in their times. Nothing has changed up to this very day.
Will the descendants of Israel, scattered within the Western world, ever learn that it is not the president, monarch, congress, or parliament of any earthly nation that rules, but that God in heaven reigns over all? He is the One whom citizens must please with their good conduct for that nation to have the peace, prosperity, and health it desires.
During presidential election campaigns, how many people running for office or supporting a candidate say or write anything about pleasing God? Instead, what we witness is a continued erosion of that minority of the population that tries to live in the fear of God. Yes, God will stir awake the modern nations of Israel, but it is still a long way from happening because almost no one thinks and therefore acts with God in mind. There are good reasons He does not respond with peace and other blessings. A painful reckoning must come first.
One would think that, if anyone could possibly fulfill this need of a righteous nation, it would be the people of Israel, those descended from Abraham. God chose Abraham to teach his descendants through the ages in God's way of life (Genesis 18:19). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and a few others set high moral and spiritual standards throughout their lives, but the nation itself never consistently followed even their patterns of living, let alone God's.
To complicate matters, God has scattered the people of Israel all over the Western world according to His purposes. One of the results of this is that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob no longer even know who they really are—and their conduct and attitudes reveal that most do not care!
It is obvious that most of the citizens of this nation are not seeking God. In fact, we can see clear indications that many are doggedly fighting Him.
— John W. Ritenbaugh