The people will face the consequences of violating the covenant. They had forsaken their dearly beloved. The LORD God was far from their hearts.
VERSE 1. You are righteous, LORD, when I contend with you; yet I would like to reason the cause with you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are they all at ease who deal very treacherously?
Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Jeremiah is complaining the wicked people become rich.
VERSE 2. You have planted them. Yes, they have taken root. They grow. Yes, they produce fruit. You are near in their mouth, and far from their heart.
far from their heart. The Lord Jesus and the prophets lament this.
Many people mouth the words of religion and spirituality with their lips, but a deep love of God isn’t in their hearts. Perhaps they’re simply doing a cultural thing. Or maybe they’re fulfilling an “obligation.”
VERSE 3. But you, LORD, know me. You see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
test my heart toward you. At heart, Jeremiah was with the LORD God.
VERSE 4. How long will the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole country wither? Because of the wickedness of those who dwell therein, the animals and birds are consumed; because they said, “He won’t see our latter end.”
VERSE 5. “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? Though in a land of peace you are secure, yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?
VERSE 6. For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you! Even they have cried aloud after you! Don’t believe them, though they speak beautiful words to you.
VERSE 7. “I have forsaken my house. I have cast off my heritage. I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
the dearly beloved of my soul. Who is the beloved of your soul?
VERSE 8. My heritage has become to me as a lion in the forest. She has uttered her voice against me. Therefore I have hated her.
VERSE 9. Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey? Are the birds of prey against her all around? Go, assemble all the animals of the field. Bring them to devour.
VERSE 10. Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard. They have trodden my portion under foot. They have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
NASB translation. Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard, They have trampled down My field; They have made My pleasant field A desolate wilderness.
Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard. Some spiritual leaders are hell-bent to become famous. Or to control their people. They are willing to do almost anything to achieve their goal. In the process, they damage the vineyard of the LORD.
VERSE 11. They have made it a desolation. It mourns to me, being desolate. The whole land is made desolate, because no one cares.
made desolate, because no one cares. The land became desolate because no one took it to heart.
Some Christians believe the spiritual condition of a region can rise or fall, depending on whether godly people pray for it. Godly people can take a region to heart, holding its people in prayer day and night. They become its watchman, its caretaker, its spiritual guardian, its prayer-warrior.
VERSE 12. Destroyers have come on all the bare heights in the wilderness; for the sword of the LORD devours from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land. No flesh has peace.
VERSE 13. They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns. They have exhausted themselves, and profit nothing. You will be ashamed of your fruits, because of the LORD’s fierce anger.”
VERSE 14. The LORD says, “Concerning all my evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
VERSE 15. It will happen that after I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them. I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
I will return and have compassion on them. In future days, the LORD God will resuscitate his people and their land.
VERSE 16. It will happen, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the LORD lives;’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they will be built up in the middle of my people.
VERSE 17. But if they will not hear, then I will pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it,” says the LORD.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.