GOD is still LOOKING for that ONE PERSON who is SOLD OUT for HIM! "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her" (Jer. 5:1)
The 5th chapter of Jeremiah clearly records the reasons why the city of Jerusalem was judged by God. In fact, the conduct of the people in Jerusalem was so deplorable that they could not escape divine punishment. "Shall I not punish them for these things?" says the Lord. "And shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?" (Jer. 5:9, 29) In order to spare the city of Jerusalem, all that God required was the presence of one righteous man in the city of Jerusalem!
The manner in which God found out about the real spiritual condition of Jerusalem was that He sent His prophet Jeremiah scurrying through the city seeking out one righteous man. This is exactly how the Greek philosopher Diogenes went through the streets of Athens looking for an honest man. If such a man is found by Jeremiah, God will forgive the inhabitants of the city. Jeremiah starts looking among the poor (the little people), but he was unsuccessful (v. 4). He then goes to the great men (the leaders), but returns empty-handed (v. 5). The vast majority of the people were totally given to idolatry and promiscuous sinful indulgence. Jerusalem’s sin was so extensive that Jeremiah could not locate even one righteous person in Jerusalem!
A similar example is found back in history when God had agreed, as a response to extensive intercession by Abraham, to spare Sodom if there were at least ten righteous persons living in that city (Gen. 18: 16–33). However, Sodom was totally destroyed by fire and brimstone since not even ten righteous men were found there (see Gen. 19:24–25). God would have spared Sodom had He found ten righteous men; but to spare Jerusalem, He would have settled for just one! Comparatively, Jerusalem was a bigger city with more population, and all that God required was just one righteous man! Unfortunately, Jeremiah’s search was less fruitful than Abraham’s search at Sodom. The people’s faces were “harder than stone” (v. 3), indicating their refusal to repent. Even the leaders refused to serve God, so God said He would punish Judah for her idolatry, adultery and corruption (vv. 5–11). Sadly, the people refused to believe God would ever destroy Jerusalem!
Let us understand that judgment, mercy, truth and humility are often put forward as the divine standards of righteousness during the Old Testament period. These were found not only in perfection in God (Deut. 32:4; Hos. 2:19, 20), but were also supposed to characterize the lives of His people as well. God has laid out clear standards through His prophet Micah as follows: "He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8)
Never underestimate the importance of just one person who is totally sold out for God. The evangelist D. L. Moody once heard this challenge: “The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.” Moody asked God to make him that man, and God answered his request. In fact, God used Moody in an extraordinary way to win many souls for God, and his work (operating out of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL) is still being blessed around the world today.