Building on the Sand
Jeremiah 37:5
Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them…

Such was the conduct of the people who encouraged themselves to hope from the withdrawal of the armies of Babylon from around Jerusalem that now they were delivered for good and all, and had no further cause for fear. They misread facts, interpreting them according to their desires rather than according to the truth. It was true that the army of Egypt was advancing and that of Babylon retreating. But, as the onflux of the wave does not prove that the tide is coming in nor its reflux that the tide is going out, so this temporary advance and retreat told of no permanent results or of what the real issue should be. But yet they thought it did. It was a case of building on the sands of unwarranted hope rather than on the rock of the Word of God. Hope ever tells a flattering tale, but never so much so as when she promises peace to those to whom God has said there shall be no peace. Now, concerning such building on the sand, note -

I. THE FOUNDATION. There are many such; e.g.:

1. Reasonings from the observed prosperity of the wicked.

2. The assertions or suggestions of the sin loving heart: that there is no God; if there be, he is too merciful to punish sin; repentance at last will do; the efficacy of sacraments, etc. These are all of them instances of 1.

3. The slow footedness of God's judgments. "Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are steadfastly set in them to do evil." And God is long suffering, not willing that any should perish.

II. THE STRUCTURES RAISED THEREUPON. They are often characterized by much material comfort. Worldly prosperity is not too weighty for them. Great freedom from anxiety, "Not in trouble as other men are." They are very attractive, and seem to be the abodes of true happiness. Mirth, festivity, and song abound in them often far more than in those which are built upon the rock.

III. THE OVERTHROW. This always comes, it came in the instance given here. The armies of Babylon did come back. It may come in this life. There are warnings of it every day. But if not now, then in the great day of judgment. And this overthrow will make us full of sorrow according to the days wherein we have never been afflicted, and the years wherein, as we have thought, we have seen no evil. CONCLUSION. Read the events of God's providence, not by the light of thy sin-loving heart, but by the light of God's sure Word, of God's Spirit within thee, and of God's not partial but complete dealing with men, taking in the whole of life, and, if needs be, eternity also. "Be not deceived." - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans that besieged Jerusalem heard tidings of them, they departed from Jerusalem.

WEB: Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt; and when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they broke up from Jerusalem.

A Request for Intercession
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