4 Have you not just called to me: ‘My Father, my friend from my youth,
They are living like children of the devil, and yet in bold hypocrisy they have just called God their Father and friend. They still recognize God as their God, even as they flirt and give themselves shamefully to idols. Their talk is righteous sounding, but their walk is wicked. They have not forgotten the righteous language of the good old days, but they have totally forgotten what that language meant, and what it demanded in obedience. If you heard their words only you would be thinking they are truly a people of God, but if you behold their behavior you would think them to be children of the devil. Such is the state of people whose religion is in words only and not in practice.
5 will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?’This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can.”
The people are pleading with God to let up on the judgment. They hate the penalty of their disobedience, but they do not hate the practice of it, and so they pray for deliverance while, at the same time, go on doing all they can to defy God by their evil practices. The funny thing is that they really hope to deceive God this way. They expect Him to be impressed with their language of calling Him Father and friend, and hope he does not take seriously their disobedience. It is the folly of mankind to try and deceive God by sweet talk. It is no wonder that God often hates our prayers, for he knows we are just trying to cover up our sins with sweet talk.