“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.” (Jeremiah 5:1)
The irony of Chapter 5 is that the chapter’s content doesn’t match the city’s view of its situation. We start chapter 5 with this image of Jeremiah walking the streets, looking for someone honest or seeking truth. He doesn’t find anyone. What is worse, Jeremiah finds more evil the more he walks. First, we learn that he considers evil among the poor. He then wonders if they are only doing wrong because they don’t know better. Jeremiah decides to go to the wealthy and educated but finds evil among them too. The chapter seems so bleak.
The twist is that this chapter is written in a city that believes everything is going well. The problem is that the people don’t see the state they are in because they are comfortable, well-fed, and wealthy.
What does this have to do with us? The question we can ask is, how are we similar to this city? Are we living in relative comfort and safety while ignoring the risks of our way of life? Take a moment to ask the spirit to walk the streets of your heart. Ask the spirit to do what God tells Jeremiah to do in this opening verse. Confess the evils God finds and step into the invitation to a new way God offers. That is what repentance is all about.