“For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not.”” (Jeremiah 4:22, ESV)

This is a damning indictment of the people of God.  They should have been wise in doing good, instead they were “wise” in doing evil.  These two concepts are so at odds that the reader is struck by the incongruity, as God surely wants us to be.  As followers of God, they/we should be wise in a lot of things; however, one of them is not in doing evil.

The contrast to doing evil is to do good and this God’s people were not doing, indeed they do not even know how to do good.  The great issue that had blinded them and made them “forget” how to do good was idolatry.  They were following other so-called gods and all of the sins that went along with such a thing.

It’s easy to see the sins of other generations, but not so easy to see the sins of our own generation.  We do not worship other gods, but surely we are idolaters in the form of materialism and drawing too close to the world and allowing the world’s values to drive our understanding of what God calls us to do and be as the church of God.  We are not far different from our unfaithful spiritual ancestors.