The heart is deceitful above all things
and it is exceedingly corrupt.
Who can know it?
“I, Yahweh, search the mind.
I try the heart,
even to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his doings.”
God had invested heavily in Israel and Judah. Even when things were not going well, God continued to try to bring them back. Jeremiah was now pronouncing that the final end was about to come. God was now going to remove His investment, but God knows everything. With that knowledge, why would He invest in a complete failure? I believe that this passage is critical to understanding what was really taking place. God was using Israel as an example for all the other nations in all periods of time to witness. God was putting the very heart of man on display.
What we learn here is that the human heart is completely corrupt. God put the hearts of the Israelis on trial and they failed miserably. They had every physical advantage given to them by God, yet they ended up becoming worse than the people that God removed from the land before them. God gave them everything except for one thing. He didn’t give them a heart change and that ended up being the thing they really needed. God was able to expose the wicked heart of Israel by exposing their actions. He knew how their actions related to the thoughts in their hearts. I believe that God used His laws to expose their evil. He then demonstrated what happens to people who don’t obey His laws.
It would be pretty depressing if that was all God was doing with Israel. Jesus made it clear to us that the reason that all this was taking place, was to prepare their hearts for the Messiah. What we learn from Israel’s example is that the human heart is naturally corrupt. We can’t do anything but sin when our hearts are exposed by God’s law. That’s the power of the Ten Commandments. They prove that we are corrupt, but it doesn’t stop there. Jesus has come and made a way for us to have our hearts replaced with incorruptible ones. God’s intent wasn’t to merely expose our corruption, but reveal His love us by solving our problem. This was His intent from he very beginning.
For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.