“Our enemy rushes down on us like storm clouds! His chariots are like whirlwinds. His horses are swifter than eagles. How terrible it will be, for we are doomed! O Jerusalem, cleanse your heart that you may be saved. How long will you harbor your evil thoughts? Your destruction has been announced from Dan and the hill country of Ephraim.” Jeremiah 4:13-15
The instruments of the announced judgment would move quickly. They would come as quickly as clouds move through the sky, their chariots as fast as whirlwinds, and their horses faster than eagles. Judah had made a show of repentance, but only in pretense. Jeremiah begged the people to wash their heart from wickedness, not only their outward actions. This scripture in Psalm needs to be our prayer. “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.” (Psalm 51:1-4) “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
The insertion of this call to repentance is quite in keeping with Jeremiah’s pleas in chapter 3. Even though judgment was at the doors, it would seem that Jeremiah never thought an appeal to repent was too late. The wickedness in the heart of the people of Judah brought the threat of God’s judgment, but it wasn’t just a heart problem; it was also a problem with evil thoughts. They indulged their evil thoughts and allowed them to lodge within their mind. There is no time to lose, for already news of the foe has arrived. He is now at Dan, the northern frontier-town, and is heard of almost as soon in the hill-country of Ephraim.