And you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring on her: and they shall be weary…
They shall be weary. With these sad words the Prophet Jeremiah closes his book. The shadows are over it all, nor are they in the least lifted where we most love to see them lifted - at the end. They are spoken of the inhabitants of Babylon, and repeat what was said in ver. 58. They suggest the theme - The weariness of sin.
I. WEARINESS IS ALWAYS PAIN. It may be of the body, and then exhaustion and fatigue render exertion any longer only so much torture. Or of the mind. The brain becomes dazed, bewildered, incapable of effort. Or of the heart - that which is caused by disappointment, ingratitude, unfulfilled desire, hopelessness. Or that of the soul, which is the weariness told of here. But in all cases it is full of pain.
II. WEARINESS IS A UNIVERSAL EXPERIENCE. The child of God is often weary. Such are exhorted not to be "weary in well doing," the exhortation implying the more than possibility of such weariness being experienced. And our Saviour knew this weariness - never of, but often in, his work. In a world like this there are causes enough for such weariness to lay hold on the servants of God. But if they know weariness, yet more do the children of this world; for -
III. THE WORST WEARINESS IS THAT OF SIN. For a while the enjoyment which springs from sin may so intoxicate and dazzle the wrong doer that he will laugh at the idea of weariness, and declare that his is the alone path of pleasure and good. But after a while that ceases, and then comes satiety and weariness.
1. The causes of this are:
(1) Negative. In serving sin we have not those great aids to endurance and restoration of strength which are ever present to the child of God. The servant of sin has no high and noble motive, no worthy motive at all, in what he does. The motives of affection, of duty, of gratitude, of love, which sustain so mightily the mind of the Christian, - these are all lacking in the servant of sin. Good hope also cheers the child of God; but what harvest can the sinner expect to reap? It is such as he dares not, and therefore will not, contemplate. The communion of the Spirit of God - that Spirit who "giveth songs in the night," is present to the Christian, and in the deepest distress enables him to rejoice. But nought of this can the ungodly know in their hard work and service. Drawing near to God is another aid of the child of God. For -
"We may kneel and cast our load,
E'en while we pray, upon our God,
Then rise with lightened cheer;
Sure that the Father, who is nigh
To hear the famished ravens cry,
Will hear in that we fear." This most real help the ungodly never know.
(2) But there are positive causes of weariness in the service of sin. Jesus said, "Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children." His cup of woe was bitter, but theirs would be more bitter still. Now, the positive causes of the weariness of sin are such as these. The powerlessness of sin to minister pleasure continually. The goadings of conscience, which will not be silent. God's judgments - so full of pain, so inevitable, so irremediable, as these on Babylon. The hopelessness of sin's outlook - nothing but a fearful looking for of judgment.
2. The effects of this weariness are seen in such as Saul and Judas, and in the myriad others who have sought, in self-destruction or by wild plunging into yet deeper sins, to escape that weariness which tracks their footsteps continually. Well might Paul ask, "What profit had ye in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?" Who would begin a career that ends in such a way? What an argument such facts furnish for seeking, if haply we may find it:
3. The cure of all such weariness! The child of God knows it well. The ungodly may know it too if they will. It consists in submission to that Lord who says to all such, "Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden," etc. There alone is the cure. - C.
Parallel VersesKJV: And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.