As we read the Book of Jeremiah we find that the key word is "backslide." The nation had turned its back on the Lord and was following false prophets who led the people to worship idols. The word "repent" is used by the prophet Jeremiah some 11 times, but the nation did not repent. We will read that Jeremiah wept because he was so burdened for his fallen nation. He was called a traitor because he prophesied the captivity, and told the kings to surrender to Babylon. He was even persecuted by his own people. No Old Testament prophet ever faced more opposition from false prophets than Jeremiah did. He did prophesy the captivity, but if Judah had repented and turned back to God, they would have been delivered from Babylon. Because they persisted in their sins, the nation had to be punished. But even then, God promised restoration for His name's sake.

Chapter 5 describes the universal depravity of Judah. There was not one righteous man found in Judah. There was promiscuous sexual indulgence, even among the married. Verses 7 and 8 even indicate they were acting like animals. The warnings of Jeremiah were being scoffed at and the whole nation was given entirely to deceit, oppression and robbery.

Chapter 6 records a vivid, prophetic description of the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonian invaders (verses 22-26). This destruction comes to pass within Jeremiah's own lifetime. Over and over Jeremiah warns the nation that repentance would be their last possible chance of escape, but they did not heed his warning.

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