Jeremiah 6:8
Be warned, O Jerusalem, or I will turn away from you; I will make you a desolation, a land without inhabitants."
A Warning to the NationB. Whichcote, D. D.Jeremiah 6:8
The Way to Prevent the Ruin of a Sinful PeopleArchbishop Tillotson.Jeremiah 6:8
The Worst Woe of the WickedS. Conway Jeremiah 6:8
A Dreadful OnlookS. Conway Jeremiah 6:1-8
Christian EffortF. Jackson.Jeremiah 6:1-9
The Apostate City that Cannot be Let AloneA.F. Muir Jeremiah 6:4-8
Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee.

I. THERE ARE MANY WOES WHICH ACCOMPANY SIN. "Many sorrows shall be to the wicked." All observation attests the truth of this word.

II. BUT THERE IS ONE WHICH MAY FITLY BE SPOKEN OF AS THE WORST OF ALL. It is this - God's soul departing from the sinner. This indeed is terrible. It is so amongst men. We hear at times of those who have worn out the love even of those who loved them most tenderly. They have made the soul of those who loved them to depart from them. Sons have done this for fathers and mothers, friends for friends, husbands for wives and wives for husbands; and to have thus driven away a deep and earnest love is a depth of ruin than which none in this world can be more terrible. But to have worn out the love of God - to have made his soul to depart from us, what woe can compare to that? His providential favor may depart from us, and that is sad. Our realization of his love in our hearts may depart from us, and that is sadder still. But for his love itself to depart, that is the worst of all.

III. WHAT, THEN, CAN CAUSE SO GREAT A CALAMITY TO COME UPON A MAN? It is his refusing instruction (cf. Proverbs 1., "Seeing thou hatest knowledge," etc.). This Judah and Jerusalem were doing; this all too many are doing now.

IV. BUT THIS GOD DEPRECATES GREATLY, AND IMPLORES US NOT TO BE GUILTY OF. "Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem" (cf. our Savior's tears over Jerusalem). Appeal. - C.

Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest My soul depart from thee.

II. THE ONLY PROPER AND EFFECTUAL MEANS TO PREVENT THE MISERY AND RUIN OF A SINFUL PEOPLE. If they will be instructed, and take warning by the threatenings of God, and will become wiser and better, then His soul will not depart from them, He will not bring upon them the desolation which He hath threatened.

III. THE MISERABLE CASE AND CONDITION OF A PEOPLE, WHEN GOD TAKES OFF HIS AFFECTION FROM THEM AND GIVES OVER ALL FURTHER CARE AND CONCERNMENT FOR THEM. Woe unto them, when His soul departs from them! For when God once leaves them, then all sorts of evil and calamities will break in upon them.

(Archbishop Tillotson.)


1. Whereby are we to be instructed? By the state of affairs, and by the reason of things, or the right of cases.(1) God is a being of all perfection, of infinitely vast comprehension and understanding and power: and therefore He is able to attain those effects, and to teach men by all things that fall under His government.(2) Things managed by Divine wisdom are intensely expressive of notions, because they do partake of the excellency and sufficiency of their cause.(3) God doth nothing in vain, nor to fewer or lesser purposes than the things are capable to promote, or be subservient unto.(4) Because the affairs of mankind are the choice piece of the administration of providence: And God doth in a special manner charge Himself with teaching the mind of man knowledge.

2. Wherein are we to be instructed?(1) In matters of God's offence. For we are highly concerned in God's favour or displeasure.(2) In instances of our own duty: if we have departed from it, to return to it; if we have done the contrary, to revoke it with self-condemnation and humble deprecation.

3. What is it to be instructed?

(1)To search and examine.

(2)To weigh and consider.

(3)To understand and discern.

(4)To do and perform.


1. An argument of love and goodwill, "lest My soul depart from thee."

2. An argument from fear, "lest I make thee desolate," A double argument is as a double testimony, by which every word is established (2 Corinthians 13:1).

3. This double argument shows us two things.(1) The stupidity and senselessness of those, who are made to the perfection of reason and understanding, and yet act contrary to it.(2) The impiety and unrighteousness of sinners, who are a real offence to God, cause His displeasure, and bring upon persons and places, ruin and destruction. Sin is a variation from the law and rule of God's creation: it is contrary to the order of reason: and when I say this, I say as bad as can be spoken. In sin there is open and manifest neglect of God, to whom all reverence and regard is most due. By sin there is a disturbance in God's family: it is an interruption of that intercourse and communication there ought to be amongst creatures; for every sinner destroys much good. By the practice of iniquity we mar our spirits, spoil our tempers, and acquire unnatural principles and dispositions.

(B. Whichcote, D. D.)

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