Scripture reading – Jeremiah 14; Jeremiah 15

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Jeremiah 14

A Judgment of Drought (Jeremiah 14:1-6)

Jeremiah 14 opened with an ominous statement, for it appears that the long-foretold judgment of the LORD had befallen Jerusalem. We read, “The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth” (Jeremiah 14:1). The “dearth” was a prolonged season without rain (Jeremiah 14:3-4) and was accompanied by the siege of Jerusalem (14:18). Knowing that the LORD chastens a nation physically for its sin and wickedness, we are not surprised to read there was a dearth in Judah. The LORD had withheld rain, resulting in a great famine (Jeremiah 14:1-22).

While politicians are often insulated from the hardships suffered by a nation’s people, Jerusalem’s nobles and their families had not escaped the difficulties of a prolonged drought in Judah (Jeremiah 14:3). We read, “There was no rain in the earth” (Jeremiah 14:4) and the farmers could neither plow nor plant their crops (Jeremiah 14:4). The deer forsook their fawns in the field, for “there was no grass” (Jeremiah 14:5). The young donkeys sniffed the air for the smell of water, but found none (Jeremiah 14:6).

Jeremiah’s Intercession and Prayer for God’s Mercy (Jeremiah 14:7-9)

Amid the famine and desperate for help, the people began to pray to the LORD, but their prayer was a pretense of piety. While they confessed their “backslidings” and said, “We have sinned against thee,” they did not repent of their sinful ways (Jeremiah 14:7). They lacked a heart for the LORD and were far from Him (Jeremiah 14:8-9). God knew the reality of their hearts, just as He knows the reality of your heart and the hearts of all men (Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; 15:8; Romans 8:27).

Choices Have Consequences (Jeremiah 14:10-12)

The LORD then commanded Jeremiah, “Pray not for this people for their good” (Jeremiah 14:11). He had determined He would refuse the people’s cries. He promised to “consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence” (Jeremiah 14:12).

Lying Prophets had Deluded the People

Lying Prophets had Deluded the People (Jeremiah 14:13-16)

Jeremiah then interceded with the LORD and suggested that Judah’s sins were due to the false prophets who had led them astray (Jeremiah 14:13). False preachers had contradicted the forewarnings of God’s judgment. They promised the people “peace in this place” (Jeremiah 14:13).

The LORD conceded that there were false prophets in Judah; however, He “sent them not” (Jeremiah 14:14). The false prophets declared, “Sword and famine shall not be in this land;” however, the LORD declared that they and those who followed them would be consumed by the same (Jeremiah 14:15-16). The toll of death would be so significant that there would be none left to bury the dead (Jeremiah 14:16).

Jeremiah’s Response to the LORD’s Threat of Judgment (Jeremiah 14:17-21)

Having heard all that would befall Judah, Jeremiah did three things (Jeremiah 14:17-22).  He wept. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet.  He was heartbroken for his people and cried day and night, saying, “Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: For the virgin daughter [Jerusalem] of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow” (Jeremiah 14:17). Jerusalem had fallen, and death and suffering were everywhere (Jeremiah 14:18).

He questioned the LORD. Jeremiah wondered if all was lost. Was there any hope for Judah? He asked the LORD, “Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion [Jerusalem]?” (Jeremiah 14:19a) Though the people “looked for peace…and healing,” they found nothing but trouble (Jeremiah 14:19).

Lastly, Jeremiah prayed. He confessed the nation’s sins and implored the LORD to remember His covenant with Israel, not for their sake, but for His “name’s sake” (Jeremiah 14:20-21).

Jeremiah 15 - The Inevitability of God’s Judgment

Jeremiah 15 – The Inevitability of God’s Judgment

Consider with me four significant points in our study of Jeremiah 15.

The Revelation: The Judgment of God was Imminent (Jeremiah 15:1-9)

Judah’s wickedness was exceedingly great during the reign of Manasseh, Hezekiah’s son, and the LORD revealed the certainty of impending judgment to Jeremiah.

The LORD warned the nation, “6Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. 7And I will fan them with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways” (Jeremiah 15:6-7). The prophetic portrait was one of national sorrow and distress (Jeremiah 14:8-9).

Jeremiah’s Lament (Jeremiah 15:10-14)

The prophet’s preaching had borne little fruit, and he found himself the reluctant bearer of judgment that made him the object of scorn. In his sorrow, Jeremiah lamented the day he was born (Jeremiah 15:10).

Yet, the LORD assured Jeremiah He would intercede for him. Eventually, his enemies would come seeking his counsel (Jeremiah 15:11). However, God’s judgment, like iron, would not be broken (Jeremiah 15:12). Judah would be spoiled of its wealth (Jeremiah 15:13). The wrath of God for the sins of His people would be expressed in their captivity (Jeremiah 15:14).

Jeremiah Bemoaned His Loneliness

Jeremiah Bemoaned His Loneliness (Jeremiah 15:18-21)

Where did Jeremiah turn for comfort and hope? Though he had been an object of scorn and persecution (Jeremiah 15:15), he sought solace in believing the LORD would remember, avenge, and favor him (Jeremiah 15:15). He found refuge and hope in God’s promises. Jeremiah prayed, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16).

He had followed the pattern of the “blessed” man recorded in Psalm 1 and had not fellowshipped with the wicked. Jeremiah wrote: “I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation” (Jeremiah 15:17; Psalm 1:1). Yet, Jeremiah questioned why there was no end to his sufferings and disappointments (Jeremiah 15:18).

The LORD’s Loving Exhortation and Assurances (Jeremiah 15:19-21)

Addressing the attitude and outlook of his prophet (Jeremiah 15:19), the LORD assured Jeremiah: “I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 21 And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible” (Jeremiah 15:20-21).

Closing thought –

What a blessed promise for those who endure persecution and put their trust in the LORD! The righteous who dare speak the Truth in a world that embraces lies will never be accepted or popular. Nevertheless, the calling of believers is to be “the salt of the earth” (Matthew 5:13) and a spiritual light that pierces the darkness (Matthew 5:14-16). Let all who love and obey the LORD take solace in the LORD’s assurances to Jeremiah: “I am with thee…I will deliver thee…I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible” (Jeremiah 15:20-21).

In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul exhorted believers: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:57-58).

Be Faithful, Trusting the LORD!

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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