Jeremiah was given an impossible task by the LORD. He was ordained from his mother’s womb to be a prophet of the MOST HIGH GOD and sent to preach to a people whose hearts were hardened and would not hear. He faithfully declared the truth of GOD, pointed out the wickedness of the people in no uncertain terms, and set forth the plain words of the law of Moses, which the people to whom he was sent, completely disregarded. Not only did he have a thankless task, but he was hated for seeking to help those to whom he was sent. They would have destroyed him, were it not that the LORD preserved his life.
On top of this, he had a compassionate heart for those who turned a deaf ear to that which he declared and was often bowed down with concern for his countrymen. When he would have prayed for them, the LORD told him not to. “Therefore, pray not thou for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me: for I will not hear thee.” (Jer 7:16) “Therefore, pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble.” (Jer 11:14) “Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.” (Jer 14:11)
The carnal nation of Jacob’s descendants is typical of the chosen people of GOD in their unregenerate state. In their disobedience to the law, disregard of HIS goodness, and rejection of that worship which alone is well pleasing in HIS sight, they demonstrate what Paul declares, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” (Eph 2:1-3)
Until such time as it pleases the LORD to awaken HIS people and bring them from darkness to light, they cannot be distinguished from those who are appointed unto destruction. Yet the LORD knows them that are HIS, and in HIS own time will separate HIS wheat from the tares, manifesting HIS work in them by the operation of HIS SPIRIT even as Paul says, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Rom 8:9-10)
It is this “LIFE” which ever separates the children of LIGHT from the children of darkness. Once again, we read Paul’s description of how this LIGHT is brought to those who sat in darkness, yet were not “of” the darkness. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” (2Cor 4:6-7)
Only as a man is given a clear understanding of the manner and operation of HIS SPIRIT in the sons of GOD, can that a man have a grasp of the purpose of the law and the weakness of any covenant or system of conditional blessing which might arise out of obedience to that law. For if the blessing of GOD upon HIS children is anywise dependent upon their ability to keep that law, then they are totally bereft of any hope in those blessings. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom 8:7)
This is demonstrated over and over again throughout the Old Testament as obedience to the law of Moses is held up to the Jews as the avenue through which they would be blessed as a nation, and time and again they disregarded it and walked according to the same spirit that worked in the children of disobedience. This is the message which Jeremiah was sent to proclaim to them, and we see the outcome of his labors. Paul explains the reason for this, and the only remedy for the problem, which was not revealed to Jeremiah’s hearers. “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” (Rom 8:3)
He goes on to declare the unfolding of this REMEDY to the Hebrews, “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Heb 8:6-12)
The law of Moses has never changed, nor can its precepts ever be overturned, negated, or counted as an unholy thing. But this law can never minister any sort of help to the sons of GOD, nor can any of their blessings ever stem from their own obedience to it in any wise. So, Paul sets forth the basis of the HOPE of the sons of GOD insofar as any “law” is concerned. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Rom 8:1-2)
There is no longer any cloud of darkness or condemnation which can be held over the heads of those who are set free in CHRIST. They are not bound by the obligations of any “law” which has not been completely satisfied by CHRIST. No longer are they prisoners of the guilt of a broken law, nor is their weakness in keeping the law of sin and death any impediment to the richness of those blessings which are brought to them through the promise of the New Covenant. Truly, HE has “forgotten” their sins and iniquities and remembers them no more. That which was their weakness has now become their STRENGTH. Where there was a natural rebellion to the precepts of GOD, there is now “the mind of CHRIST”.
Even though their sinful flesh remains unchanged, they now have a DELIVERER who is greater than he that is in the world. Paul rejoices in this very principle when he says, “For I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” (Rom 7:22) That which no threat of the law could ever bring to pass, the LORD JESUS CHRIST has procured for those whom HE loves. HE is their REDEEMER from the curse of the law and from the weakness thereof. “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” (2Cor 5:17-19)