Jeremiah 14:1–22 (NKJV)
14:1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the droughts.
2 “Judah mourns, And her gates languish; They mourn for the land, And the cry of Jerusalem has gone up.
3 Their nobles have sent their lads for water; They went to the cisterns and found no water. They returned with their vessels empty; They were ashamed and confounded And covered their heads.
4 Because the ground is parched, For there was no rain in the land, The plowmen were ashamed; They covered their heads.
5 Yes, the deer also gave birth in the field, But left because there was no grass.
6 And the wild donkeys stood in the desolate heights; They sniffed at the wind like jackals; Their eyes failed because there was no grass.”
7 O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, Do it for Your name’s sake; For our backslidings are many, We have sinned against You.
8 O the Hope of Israel, his Savior in time of trouble, Why should You be like a stranger in the land, And like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night?
9 Why should You be like a man astonished, Like a mighty one who cannot save? Yet You, O Lord, are in our midst, And we are called by Your name; Do not leave us!
In this opening section of chapter 14, Jeremiah mourns over the lack of water during the drought in Judah. The animals are dying. The ground is cracked and produces no grass. The servants can find no sources of water anywhere and are ashamed. Jeremiah cries out to God not to leave them, to show His power.
10 Thus says the Lord to this people: “Thus they have loved to wander; They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, And punish their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
13 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ ”
14 And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. 15 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’—‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them—them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters—for I will pour their wickedness on them.’
17 “Therefore you shall say this word to them: ‘Let my eyes flow with tears night and day, And let them not cease; For the virgin daughter of my people Has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow.
18 If I go out to the field, Then behold, those slain with the sword! And if I enter the city, Then behold, those sick from famine! Yes, both prophet and priest go about in a land they do not know.’ ”
The Lord responds to Jeremiah by telling him that He will not hear their prayers, and that they will die by the sword, famine, and pestilence. He tells him to not even pray for them. Jeremiah responds that the prophets declare that none of these things will happen. The Lord responds by saying that the prophets lie, and they will be killed and left out in the streets. He then sends Jeremiah to tell them that tears will flow and the nation will be broken.
19 Have You utterly rejected Judah? Has Your soul loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but there was no good; And for the time of healing, and there was trouble.
20 We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness And the iniquity of our fathers, For we have sinned against You.
21 Do not abhor us, for Your name’s sake; Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory. Remember, do not break Your covenant with us.
22 Are there any among the idols of the nations that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O Lord our God? Therefore we will wait for You, Since You have made all these.
Jeremiah responds with questions and prayers. He asks if Judah is utterly rejected, to the point that their is no hope, and that the covenant is broken. Then He intercedes, asking God to forgive and heal the land. The final verse, 22, is powerful in its wording. Who can bring rain? Only you, God, can open the heavens. Therefore, we will wait for You. When troubles come, when their is lack in the land, do not try to fix it. Do not look for manmade solutions. Do not form a committee. Pray! Repent if necessary, but pray. Only God can solve the problems and meet the needs of mankind. Turn to Him, for He is the answer! In times of sword, famine, and pestilence, wait on the Lord.
Jeremiah 13:1–27 (NKJV)
13:1 Thus the LORD said to me: “Go and get yourself a linen sash, and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.” 2 So I got a sash according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist.
3 And the word of the LORD came to me the second time, saying, 4 “Take the sash that you acquired, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole in the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
6 Now it came to pass after many days that the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the sash which I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates and dug, and I took the sash from the place where I had hidden it; and there was the sash, ruined. It was profitable for nothing.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 “Thus says the LORD: ‘In this manner I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who follow the dictates of their hearts, and walk after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be just like this sash which is profitable for nothing. 11 For as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me,’ says the LORD, ‘that they may become My people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear.’
The Lord uses a sash as an object lesson on what happens when the people of God forsake His presence and stray to serve other gods. When they cling to God, they are clean and safe. When they go after other gods (represented by the Euphrates), they are sullied, ruined, useless. Shun the gods of this world and cling to the one true God!
12 “Therefore you shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the LORD God of Israel: “Every bottle shall be filled with wine.” ’
“And they will say to you, ‘Do we not certainly know that every bottle will be filled with wine?’
13 “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land—even the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! 14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together,” says the LORD. “I will not pity nor spare nor have mercy, but will destroy them.” ’ ”
The Lord turns this analogy on its ear. He begins by offering what seems to be a promise to fill them with wine, a sign of prosperity and presence. Instead, He turns the analogy into a threat of allowing them to be in a stupor. Instead of blessing and being with them, He intimates that they will be drunk and then be destroyed.
15 Hear and give ear:
Do not be proud,
For the LORD has spoken.
16 Give glory to the LORD your God
Before He causes darkness,
And before your feet stumble
On the dark mountains,
And while you are looking for light,
He turns it into the shadow of death
And makes it dense darkness.
17 But if you will not hear it,
My soul will weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly
And run down with tears,
Because the LORD’s flock has been taken captive.
18 Say to the king and to the queen mother,
For your rule shall collapse, the crown of your glory.”
19 The cities of the South shall be shut up,
And no one shall open them;
Judah shall be carried away captive, all of it;
It shall be wholly carried away captive.
Jeremiah here warns against pride and champions the idea of humility. He even tells the king and queen that they are in danger of overthrow if they do not humble themselves.
20 Lift up your eyes and see
Those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given to you,
Your beautiful sheep?
21 What will you say when He punishes you?
For you have taught them
To be chieftains, to be head over you.
Will not pangs seize you,
Like a woman in labor?
22 And if you say in your heart,
“Why have these things come upon me?”
For the greatness of your iniquity
Your skirts have been uncovered,
Your heels made bare.
23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots?
Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.
24 “Therefore I will scatter them like stubble
That passes away by the wind of the wilderness.
25 This is your lot,
The portion of your measures from Me,” says the LORD,
“Because you have forgotten Me
And trusted in falsehood.
26 Therefore I will uncover your skirts over your face,
That your shame may appear.
27 I have seen your adulteries
And your lustful neighings,
The lewdness of your harlotry,
Your abominations on the hills in the fields.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
Will you still not be made clean?”
God brings the bad news of the prophecy that the sheep of the flock of Judah will be scattered, and that they will be shamed before the nations. He speaks of their being little hope for them to change, and the terror that will come because of their sin. They will be scattered and blown away, and their sinful adulteries will be revealed publicly. He then cries to them to turn and be made clean. We are the people of God if we have faith in Him. Do not ignore, push away from, and adulterate yourself from the Lord. Walking alone will be a dangerous trek.
Jeremiah 12:1–17 (NKJV)
12:1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.
3 But You, O LORD, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”
Jeremiah here laments over the fact that evil nations prosper as they inhabit the land of God’s people. They mock Judah and say that God will never remove them from the land. Jeremiah pleads with God to pluck them out of the land and punish them for their treatment of Israel.
5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?
6 For even your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called a multitude after you.
Do not believe them,
Even though they speak smooth words to you.
7 “I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest;
It cries out against Me;
Therefore I have hated it.
9 My heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture;
The vultures all around are against her.
Come, assemble all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
10 “Many rulers have destroyed My vineyard,
They have trodden My portion underfoot;
They have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because no one takes it to heart.
12 The plunderers have come
On all the desolate heights in the wilderness,
For the sword of the LORD shall devour
From one end of the land to the other end of the land;
No flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat but reaped thorns;
They have put themselves to pain but do not profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the LORD.”
The Lord responds without pity. He reminds the people of their sin, and the resultant judgment at the hands of foreigners. The sword is the norm in this case, so get used to it! He reiterates, though, that the problem is not God’s lack of mercy, but the people’s lack of obedience.
14 Thus says the LORD: “Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people. 17 But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the LORD.
Once again, however, even after pointing out the sins and the commensurate punishment deserved by the Jews, God allows grace to be extended. He says that He will pluck out the nations who have so mistreated Judah. However, he offers them the opportunity to be blessed and even dwell among His people if they will learn the ways of Yahweh and worship Him. If not, though, they will be destroyed. God is looking out for our good as His people. Don’t let your sins get in the way of God’s provision. Look for His grace if sin does enter your life and repent. Then God will grant you grace, while at the same time allowing you the opportunity to use that grace as a tool to reach the very ones who worked against you. Be holy, be repentant, be evangelistic!
Jeremiah 11:1–23 (NKJV)
11:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2 “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3 and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant 4 which I commanded your fathers in the day I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall you be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5 that I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them ‘a land flowing with milk and honey,’ as it is this day.” ’ ”
And I answered and said, “So be it, Lord.”
6 Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7 For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.” 8 Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone followed the dictates of his evil heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ”
9 And the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”
11 Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold, I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. 13 For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.
14 “So do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.
15 “What has My beloved to do in My house,
Having done lewd deeds with many?
And the holy flesh has passed from you.
When you do evil, then you rejoice.
16 The Lord called your name,
Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit.
With the noise of a great tumult
He has kindled fire on it,
And its branches are broken.
17 “For the Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”
In these verses, the Lord brings a pronouncement of judgment against the nation for their breaking of the covenant God made with them. He calls them to hear His judgment, I believe with the hope that they will repent and restore the covenant in their own hearts. He bemoans the fact that there is a conspiracy among the men of Judah to ignore the covenant. He mourns over the loss of holiness in His house.
18 Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”
20 But, O Lord of hosts,
You who judge righteously,
Testing the mind and the heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You I have revealed my cause.
21 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand’—22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’ ”
Jeremiah here speaks of a plot against his life, and asks God to protect and judge rightly for him. God gives him encouragement to speak to word in spite of the threats against him. He does this for us today. Speak, and God will move. Speak, and God will protect. Speak according to God’s will. Speak, even if it costs you. God’s reward will far outweigh any loss that occurs due to your obedience.
Jeremiah 10:1–25 (NKJV)
10:1 Hear the word which the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the Lord:
“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles;
Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,
For the Gentiles are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are futile;
For one cuts a tree from the forest,
The work of the hands of the workman, with the ax.
4 They decorate it with silver and gold;
They fasten it with nails and hammers
So that it will not topple.
5 They are upright, like a palm tree,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot go by themselves.
Do not be afraid of them,
For they cannot do evil,
Nor can they do any good.”
Jeremiah reveals the Lord’s opinion about idols. The Gentiles were idolators, and cut down trees in order to fashion idols from them, decorating them and worshipping them. God says that they are futile, having no power of evil or good. Don’t pick up bad habits and empty practices. Follow the one true God!
6 Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord
(You are great, and Your name is great in might),
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
For this is Your rightful due.
For among all the wise men of the nations,
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish;
A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine.
9 Silver is beaten into plates;
It is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of the craftsman
And of the hands of the metalsmith;
Blue and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the Lord is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth will tremble,
And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.
11 Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”
12 He has made the earth by His power,
He has established the world by His wisdom,
And has stretched out the heavens at His discretion.
13 When He utters His voice,
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens:
“And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
14 Everyone is dull-hearted, without knowledge;
Every metalsmith is put to shame by an image;
For his molded image is falsehood,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are futile, a work of errors;
In the time of their punishment they shall perish.
16 The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
For He is the Maker of all things,
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
The Lord of hosts is His name.
Jeremiah continues to extol the greatness of God, the One, True God of all Creation. While wood, gold, and silver are brought from merchants and forests, the one true God created them all. He brings the rain and is an everlasting, eternal being, with no beginning and no end. The idols of man shall end and will do nothing until then. The Portion of Jacob is not like them, but is Creator and God, The Lord of Hosts.
17 Gather up your wares from the land,
O inhabitant of the fortress!
18 For thus says the Lord:
“Behold, I will throw out at this time
The inhabitants of the land,
And will distress them,
That they may find it so.”
19 Woe is me for my hurt!
My wound is severe.
But I say, “Truly this is an infirmity,
And I must bear it.”
20 My tent is plundered,
And all my cords are broken;
My children have gone from me,
And they are no more.
There is no one to pitch my tent anymore,
Or set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become dull-hearted,
And have not sought the Lord;
Therefore they shall not prosper,
And all their flocks shall be scattered.
22 Behold, the noise of the report has come,
And a great commotion out of the north country,
To make the cities of Judah desolate, a den of jackals.
23 O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
24 O Lord, correct me, but with justice;
Not in Your anger, lest You bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your fury on the Gentiles, who do not know You,
And on the families who do not call on Your name;
For they have eaten up Jacob,
Devoured him and consumed him,
And made his dwelling place desolate.
This final passage of lament speaks of the trouble that will come upon Israel when the Gentiles overrun their land. The Gentiles will make Judah desolate and will injure and kill its inhabitants. Their tents will be destroyed, and their children will be gone. What a sad and distressing scene! Jeremiah, speaking for himself and his people, asks God in v. 23 and 24 to direct them and to help them. They do not know where to go or what to do. But they know He is their source. Even in their rebellion and shame, they ask for God to deliver them from this punishment for their sins. The way of a man may not be evident to that man, but that man can know the God who will prepare the way and lead them in the way. Get in the way, the right way!
Mark 12:28–31 (NKJV)
28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Heart – Emotions
Soul – Life, Being
Mind – Thoughts and Reason
Spirit – Aviternal Realm of Humanity: capacity to Know God
Luke 7:36–50 (NKJV)
36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil.
39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head.
45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Think about His glory
Think about His righteousness
Think about His love
John 1:14 (NKJV) 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
2 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV) 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Romans 8:38–39 (NKJV) 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Ask for Nothing Tangible
Seek His Presence (Sit at His feet)
Allow Him to Speak
Let Him captivate you
Give Him the Throne
Join to Him
Love Fully (Worship Him)
1 Chronicles 29:10–12 (NLT) 10 Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! 11 Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. 12 Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (NKJV) 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love Fully (Worship Him)
Mark 12:29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Because He First Loved Us, Love Jesus
Love Fully (Worship Him)
Jeremiah 9:1–26 (NKJV)
9:1 Oh, that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people!
2 Oh, that I had in the wilderness—
A lodging place for travelers;
That I might leave my people,
And go from them!
For they are all adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
3 “And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies.
They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me,” says the LORD.
4 “Everyone take heed to his neighbor,
And do not trust any brother;
For every brother will utterly supplant,
And every neighbor will walk with slanderers.
5 Everyone will deceive his neighbor,
And will not speak the truth;
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves to commit iniquity.
6 Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit;
Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” says the LORD.
Jeremiah reveals his pain and sorrow that led to his being characterized as the weeping prophet in this passage. His people are adulterers, treacherous, evil, slanderous, liars, and deceitful. It brings him to tears, mourning for the condition of Israel and longing to be removed from them and to live in the wilderness.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Behold, I will refine them and try them;
For how shall I deal with the daughter of My people?
8 Their tongue is an arrow shot out;
It speaks deceit;
One speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth,
But in his heart he lies in wait.
9 Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the LORD.
“Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?”
10 I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains,
And for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation,
Because they are burned up,
So that no one can pass through;
Nor can men hear the voice of the cattle.
Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled;
They are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals.
I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.”
12 Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?
13 And the LORD said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it, 14 but they have walked according to the dictates of their own hearts and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,” 15 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. 16 I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”
The Lord responds to the spiritual condition of His people with a declaration of judgment and a declaration of sorrow. He must punish their ongoing pattern of sin, but laments over the condition of the nation, weeping Himself over their loss. This is a great picture of God, loving the sinner, but hating the sin.
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts:
“Consider and call for the mourning women,
That they may come;
And send for skillful wailing women,
That they may come.
18 Let them make haste
And take up a wailing for us,
That our eyes may run with tears,
And our eyelids gush with water.
19 For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion:
‘How we are plundered!
We are greatly ashamed,
Because we have forsaken the land,
Because we have been cast out of our dwellings.’ ”
20 Yet hear the word of the LORD, O women,
And let your ear receive the word of His mouth;
Teach your daughters wailing,
And everyone her neighbor a lamentation.
21 For death has come through our windows,
Has entered our palaces,
To kill off the children—no longer to be outside!
And the young men—no longer on the streets!
22 Speak, “Thus says the LORD:
‘Even the carcasses of men shall fall as refuse on the open field,
Like cuttings after the harvester,
And no one shall gather them.’ ”
The Lord continues His pronouncement of judgment on Judah and Israel, instructing them to call for the women who mourn (perhaps professional mourners). The cause of their mourning is the loss of their children, young men and women, due to the consequences of their sin. This is prophetic–not only for Israel, but for us today–in that when parents backslide and do not live a life of Godliness before their children as an example, their children will be lost. Live the life, Father and Mother, for the health, well-being, and salvation of your children depends on it!
23 Thus says the LORD:
“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom,
Let not the mighty man glory in his might,
Nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
24 But let him who glories glory in this,
That he understands and knows Me,
That I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,” says the LORD.
God here gives the prescription for the healing of the nation. Stop depending on your own wisdom, your own might, your own riches. They are temporal and will fade away. Do not boast in your own inherent abilities. Do not believe you are special in your own strength and talents. But when you glory, glory in the Lord. Glory in your knowledge of and relationship with Him. In this He delights. In His lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness you will be blessed.
25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised with the uncircumcised—26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are in the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”
Be aware. Be warned. Judgment is coming on the nations who are uncircumcised. Judgment is coming to those who are spiritually hidden from the Lord. Pull back the veil you have covering your heart and allow God to be God in your life. Cut away your pride and self-sufficiency and be vulnerable in His sight. When you do, He will be your protection and strength. Let him who glories glory in the Lord!