Scripture reading – Jeremiah 8; Jeremiah 9

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Jeremiah’s ministry to a nation facing God’s imminent judgment continued in Jeremiah 7. Jeremiah was commanded to preach a frightening and foreboding message of judgment at the gate of the Temple. Although interrupted in our Bibles with a chapter break, Jeremiah 8 continued the same sermon the prophet began in chapter 7.

Jeremiah 8

Babylon’s Atrocities Foretold (Jeremiah 8:1-3)

Despite Jeremiah’s warnings, the people of Judah continued their wickedness and refused to repent and turn back to the LORD. So calamitous would be the LORD’s judgment and Judah’s humiliation that Jeremiah prophesied the tombs of the kings would be desecrated, and their bones scattered (Jeremiah 8:1-2). We read how the horror and hardships of captivity would be so grave that the people would prefer death over exile (Jeremiah 8:3).

Judah’s Wickedness and Disobedience (Jeremiah 8:4-12)

Judah was a backslidden nation, and the people refused to return to the LORD (Jeremih 8:5). Jeremiah stated, “No man repented of his wickedness” (Jeremiah 8:6).

Tragically, the people’s sins were incessant, and “every one from the least even unto the greatest [was] given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely” (Jeremiah 8:10). Judah was a nation that cried for peace (Jeremiah 8:11, 15). The people had become so brutish that they could not blush, for innocence was lost, and purity was sacrificed. (Jeremiah 8:12).

Jeremiah’s Sorrow

Jeremiah’s Sorrow (Jeremiah 8:13-22)

Jeremiah’s heart was broken for his nation. He declared, “When I would comfort [cheer] myself against sorrow [grief; affliction], my heart is faint [troubled; sick; distressed] in me” (Jeremiah 8:18). The prophet was exasperated, for the people continued in their wickedness though the judgment of God was imminent. Babylon’s army was gathering against the nation (Jeremiah 8:19).

There would be no peace because the people had rejected the God of Peace! Therefore, Jeremiah declared, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved” (Jeremiah 8:19-20). Jeremiah’s heart was heavy as he declared, “For the hurt [breaking] of the daughter of my people am I hurt [broken]; I am black [mourning]; astonishment hath taken hold on me” (Jeremiah 8:21).


Jeremiah 9 – Jeremiah’s Lament over Jerusalem

Overcome with sorrow, Jeremiah described a perpetual state of tears, saying, “Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (Jeremiah 9:1). He wept day and night, and wished there was a place of escape, “a lodging place of wayfaring [traveling] men” (Jeremiah 9:2). Jeremiah declared he’d rather be a resident in the wilderness than live amid an adulteress nation of treacherous, unfaithful men (Jeremiah 9:2).

The Wickedness and Hypocrisy of Jeremiah’s Day

The Wickedness and Hypocrisy of Jeremiah’s Day (Jeremiah 9:3-16)

Standing before those who came and made a pretense of worship in the Temple, Jeremiah did not spare words for their hypocrisy. We read, “They bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant [strong; mighty; heroic] for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil [sin; wickedness] to evil, and they know [understand; acknowledge] not me, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:3).

Do those words not describe our day and churches? Preachers bend the truth with their tongues, like the bent arch of a bow (Jeremiah 9:3a). The people do not know nor understand the ways of the LORD (Jeremiah 9:3c). In Jeremiah’s day, none who could be trusted (Jeremiah 9:4a), for everyone was like Jacob (Genesis 27:36), a liar, and deceiver (Jeremiah 9:4). They did not speak the truth (Jeremiah 9:5a; Ephesians 4:25), and they wearied themselves pursuing sin (Jeremiah 9:6b).

Judah was a nation of liars and hypocrites (Jeremiah 9:6), and none were “valiant for the truth” (Jeremiah 9:3b).


Is that not a fundamental sin and flaw of our day? Few “speak the truth” (Jeremiah 9:5) and “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3). Few pastors will “preach the word…reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). In Jeremiah’s day, as it is in our day when the clarion call of truth was needed, there were none “valiant for the truth” (Jeremiah 9:3).

Judah was a proud nation of stubborn and incorrigible murderers, thieves, adulterers, and idolaters (Jeremiah 9:3-8). Yet, the LORD would have shown them mercy if they repented and turned to Him (Jeremiah 9:10). Yet, they had taken the LORD’s mercies for granted and followed in their fathers’ sinful steps (Jeremiah 9:12-14).

The time for repentance was passed, and the LORD declared he would feed His people with “wormwood” (bitter herbs), “give them water of gall to drink” (a poisonous blend, Jeremiah 9:15), and scatter them among the heathen (Jeremiah 9:16).

Regardless of how dark the hour may be, let us dedicate our lives to be “valiant for the truth.”

Three Declarations of God’s Judgment (Jeremiah 9:17-24)

1) Jeremiah was commanded to call the professional mourners to come and weep over Jerusalem. However, so many would die that there would not be enough mourners to mourn the dead (Jeremiah 9:17-21).

2) The prophet described the brutality of Babylon’s conquest of Jerusalem and foretold that the bodies of the dead would be left unburied (Jeremiah 9:22).

3) Finally, there would be nothing the people could do to save themselves. The wise were warned their wisdom would not save them. The mighty men were warned their strength would not avail. The rich man’s wealth would perish with him (Jeremiah 9:23).

There was only one thing in which men could trust and hope, and that was the knowledge of God’s immutable character. He declared, “I am the LORD, which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:24).

Closing thoughts –

We have seen how foolish men boast in much, but the godly boast in the character and promises of the LORD who is gracious and merciful (“lovingkindness”), just (for He judges between the righteous and the wicked), and holy (for He is wholly righteous, Jeremiah 9:24).

Friend, does your heart burn with sorrow for your nation and an unrelenting passion for the Truth?  Many believers lament the moral decay of society and the sensuality of our homes, churches, and schools. Yet, how many contend for the faith and pursue godliness and holiness? (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Peter 1:16).

I fear that many occupy churches dedicated to entertaining the masses. They contentedly listen to preachers who tickle their ears with pleasantries and fail to declare the Word of the Living God.

Regardless of how dark the hour may be, let us dedicate our lives to be “valiant for the truth.”

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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