Abraham’s attempt to rescue Sodom from judgment began with, “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city” (Genesis 18:24). Then forty-five, then forty, thirty, twenty, and, at last, ten. For ten righteous people, God would lift his hand of judgment.
Jeremiah need only find one in Judah,
“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note!
Search her squares to see if you can find a man,
one who does justice and seeks truth,
that I may pardon her.” ~Jeremiah 5:1
Jeremiah found none. God’s judgment against Judah is just as he turns his creation upside down.
“I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and behold, there was no man,
and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
and all its cities were laid in ruins
before the Lord, before his fierce anger.” ~Jeremiah 4:23-26
Little wonder Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet, for these are the visions he must proclaim. Nevertheless, the a prophet’s job is not to pronounce final doom, but future hope. Out of destruction shall come deliverance, “for thus says the Lord, ‘The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end’” (Jeremiah 4:27).
Jeremiah may weep, but he need not despair. Even when there is no one found righteous, there is always God, so there is always hope.
My God, You are love, bearing all things, enduring to the end. I think I put Your patience to the test, and yet Your grace perseveres. I deserve what I should get, but You took what I deserve and gave me life, a life eternally wonderful. Thank You.
The life You give me I return to You to be used as You direct. I want to be part of good news to the world. May I live daily grateful to You, gracious to others.