Jeremiah 5:27, 28
As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.…
Their houses are full of deceit, therefore they are become great, etc.
I. SEVERAL OF THESE LURES ARE NAMED HERE.
1. Wealth: "They are waxen rich."
2. Luxury: "They are waxen fat, they shine."
3. Impunity: "They overpass... they judge not... yet they prosper."
4. Success: "They prosper."
II. AND THE LIKE LURES ARE HELD OUT STILL. Satan is ever seeking, and with sad success, in seduce men by such and similar snares.
III. IT IS WHAT WE MIGHT EXPECT. For that Satan should in this manner tempt men is in keeping with his constant method of parodying and travestying all the good works of God. What virtue, what Christian grace, is there that he does not caricature-modesty by servility, prudence by meanness, generosity by careless waste, etc.? And so here, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich," and hence Satan sets to work to devise a blessing of his which also shall make rich - and this is his great lure.
IV. AND THIS LURE IS MADE THE MORE ATTRACTIVE BY THE FACT THAT GOD OFTEN SUFFERS HIS SERVANTS TO FALL INTO GREAT DISTRESS. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous;" "In the world ye shall have tribulation." For God desires that we shall love him for himself, yea, when our earthly interests even plead against him. Such trial of on; faith is exceeding precious in his sight.
V. OUR DUTY AND DEFENSE, THEREFORE, IS:
1. To look right on beyond the present reward, even to "the end."
2. To expose to others the treachery of these apparent rewards.
3. To pray for and cherish the spirit of Nehemiah, who said, "So did not I, because of the fear of God."
4. To yield our heart and soul up to the better attraction of Christ and his cross, until we come to say of him, "Thou art mine exceeding joy.'"-C.
Parallel VersesKJV: As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.