Israel's Delusion as to its Enemy
Jeremiah 37:9, 10
Thus said the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart.…

I. THE DELUSION ENTERTAINED. That a great army is before Jerusalem is, of course, no delusion, and that it may effect a great deal of damage of a certain sort is no delusion. The delusion lies here, in supposing that the removal of the army would be the removal of the danger. And this delusion being strong in the minds of the people led them to seek the help of Egypt. A carnal foe was to be overcome by the help of a carnal friend. And similarly we are all led into most mistaken policies of life by seeing only our visible enemies. In our solicitude to guard against the seen enemy, and keep in safety our own visible possessions, we make too much of visible things altogether. It is very hard, of course, to admit this; it is very hard for the natural mind to see its delusions; but then it is the very mark of delusions that they put on the semblance of fundamental and important truths. Again and again appeal is made to what is called common sense to testify to the validity of delusions. The common belief of the multitude is cited to stop the mouth of any one who ventures to proclaim what he is sure is true. Those who have got to the heights and advanced places of spiritual experience know full well that the maxims and rules of the natural man are little but a mass of pernicious delusions. Thus men carefully preserve the shell of life, while the interior treasure for which the shell exists is utterly neglected.

II. THE DELUSION EXPOSED. God makes plain who the real enemy of Jerusalem is, an enemy whom a thousand Pharaohs and a thousand Egypts would vainly contend against. In one sense Jehovah himself is enemy, but what he says amounts to this, that Jerusalem itself is its own worst enemy. While it is rebellious against him, and full of all unrighteousness, he must work against it by all available instruments. To destroy the Chaldean army is only as it were to break the warriors sword; he can seize another and continue the conflict. It is of the greatest possible consequence that we should know in any conflict whether we are fighting simply against man, or whether behind the man who is in front of us there be the purpose and the strength of God. How much of human energy has been wasted, how many have had failure stamped on all their efforts, simply because it has not been known that God has been behind human conflicts! God would have us make sure - and he gives us ample means for the attainment - that we are not fighting against him.

III. THE DELUSION MAINTAINED. This is made plain to us as we read on in the narrative. An example is given to us of how people often do not wake to the delusions of life till too late. They walk contentedly in a vain show, and the realities flowing out of the ministry of Christ they reckon to be dreams. We may depend upon it that delusions will be maintained, most ingeniously, most tenaciously, until by the power of God our eyes are opened to distinguish reality from appearance, and truth from falsehood. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the LORD; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart.

WEB: Thus says Yahweh, Don't deceive yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us; for they shall not depart.

Be not Deceived
Top of Page
Top of Page