“My people are foolish and do not know me,” says the Lord. “They are stupid children who have no understanding. They are clever enough at doing wrong, but they have no idea how to do right!” Jeremiah 4:22
God tells us that if we don’t follow God, we are foolish. David in Psalms tells us the same thing, “Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!” (Psalm 14:1) God accurately diagnosed their problem when He noted that Judah was foolish, and especially so in their lack of true knowledge of God. Yet God was generous enough to still call them, “My people.” Their only skills lay in doing evil. Of doing right, they knew nothing The Lord gives no direct answer to the complaining question in Jeremiah 4:21. He simply states the moral ground for Judah’s calamity, and implies that this will last so long as the people continue to be “foolish,” deniers of the true God.
Judah lost her way when they stopped listening to God and what He was telling them. We have lost our way today because we are listening to the false prophets. In the pulpits we have Preachers tell people that if we walk with God He will give us anything we want. The other false doctrine is that God so loves and His grace is so strong that no matter if we continue sinning we will go to heaven. Dietrich Bonhoffer called this cheap grace. Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, and grace without Jesus Christ. The only man who has the right to say that he is justified by grace alone is the man who has left all to follow Christ. Such a man knows that the call to discipleship is a gift of grace, and that the call is inseparable from the grace. But those who try to use this grace as a dispensation from following Christ are simply deceiving themselves.