Jerusalem lost its faith.
VERSE 1. The LORD’s word came to me, saying,
VERSE 2. “Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘The LORD says, “I remember for you the kindness of your youth, the love of your weddings; how you went after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown.
NAB translation. Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unknown.
I remember the devotion of your youth. In the past, they were in love with the LORD God.
But later, they lost their first love:
Sirach 27:3. Unless a man hold on diligently in the fear of the Lord, His house will soon be overthrown.
Isaiah 5:12. The harp, lyre, tambourine, and flute, with wine, are at their feasts; but they don’t respect the work of the LORD, neither have they considered the operation of his hands.
Jeremiah 2:2. Go, cry out this message for Jerusalem to hear! I remember the devotion of your youth, how you loved me as a bride, Following me in the desert, in a land unknown (NAB translation)
Revelation 2:4. But I have this against you, that you left your first love.
Are you still in love with the LORD God? Have you lost your first love? How can you get it back?
VERSE 3. Israel was holiness to the LORD, the first fruits of his increase. All who devour him will be held guilty. Evil will come on them,” ’ says the LORD.”
VERSE 4. Hear the LORD’s word, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel!
VERSE 5. The LORD says, “What unrighteousness have your fathers found in me, that they have gone far from me, and have walked after worthless vanity, and have become worthless?
VERSE 6. They didn’t say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, who led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought and of the shadow of death, through a land that no one passed through, and where no man lived?’
VERSE 7. I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.
VERSE 8. The priests didn’t say, ‘Where is the LORD?’ and those who handle the law didn’t know me. The rulers also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal and followed things that do not profit.
NCV translation. The priests didn’t ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ The people who know the teachings didn’t know me. The leaders turned against me. The prophets prophesied in the name of Baal and worshiped useless idols.
The priests didn’t ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Religious leaders rarely ask the questions that actually matter.
Sure, they ask insightful questions in their sermons. But questions of ultimate significance, such as “Where is the Lord?” rarely come from their lips.
“Where is the Lord?” is a great question to ask ourselves. How is the LORD God leading me? How is he leading us? What’s he doing in these days? Where is he?
VERSE 9. “Therefore I will yet contend with you,” says the LORD, “and I will contend with your children’s children.
VERSE 10. For pass over to the islands of Kittim, and see. Send to Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there has been such a thing.
VERSE 11. Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doesn’t profit.
VERSE 12. “Be astonished, you heavens, at this and be horribly afraid. Be very desolate,” says the LORD.
VERSE 13. “For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut out cisterns for themselves: broken cisterns that can’t hold water.
me, the spring of living waters:
Isaiah 55:1. All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk! (NAB translation)
broken cisterns that can’t hold water. Broken wells are no good for anything.
VERSE 14. Is Israel a slave? Is he born into slavery? Why has he become a captive?
VERSE 15. The young lions have roared at him and yelled. They have made his land waste. His cities are burned up, without inhabitant.
VERSE 16. The children also of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head.
VERSE 17. “Haven’t you brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the LORD your God, when he led you by the way?
VERSE 18. Now what do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or why do you to go on the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?
VERSE 19. “Your own wickedness will correct you, and your backsliding will rebuke you. Know therefore and see that it is an evil and bitter thing, that you have forsaken the LORD your God, and that my fear is not in you,” says the Lord, the LORD of Hosts.
it is an evil and bitter thing. To fall away from the LORD God is a great loss.
VERSE 20. “For long ago I broke off your yoke, and burst your bonds. You said, ‘I will not serve;’ for on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed yourself, playing the prostitute.
playing the prostitute. That is, commit idolatry.
VERSE 21. Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a pure and faithful seed. How then have you turned into the degenerate branches of a foreign vine to me?
NAB translation. I had planted you, a choice vine of fully tested stock; How could you turn out obnoxious to me, a spurious vine?
turn out obnoxious to me. Who would want to be this? Yet that is what we would all be, apart from the grace of God.
VERSE 22. For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me,” says the Lord GOD.
VERSE 23. “How can you say, ‘I am not defiled. I have not gone after the Baals’? See your way in the valley. Know what you have done. You are a swift dromedary traversing her ways,
VERSE 24. a wild donkey used to the wilderness, that sniffs the wind in her craving. When she is in heat, who can turn her away? All those who seek her will not weary themselves. In her month, they will find her.
VERSE 25. “Keep your feet from being bare, and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is in vain. No, for I have loved strangers, and I will go after them.’
VERSE 26. As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so the house of Israel is ashamed: they, their kings, their princes, their priests, and their prophets,
VERSE 27. who tell wood, ‘You are my father,’ and a stone, ‘You have given birth to me,’ for they have turned their back to me, and not their face; but in the time of their trouble they will say, ‘Arise, and save us!’
VERSE 28. “But where are your gods that you have made for yourselves? Let them arise, if they can save you in the time of your trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
VERSE 29. “Why will you contend with me? You all have transgressed against me,” says the LORD.
VERSE 30. “I have struck your children in vain. They received no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion.
Your own sword has devoured your prophets. They put the prophets to death.
VERSE 31. Generation, consider the LORD’s word. Have I been a wilderness to Israel? Or a land of thick darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We have broken loose. We will come to you no more?’
VERSE 33. How well you prepare your way to seek love! Therefore you have even taught the wicked women your ways.
VERSE 34. Also the blood of the souls of the innocent poor is found in your skirts. You didn’t find them breaking in, but it is because of all these things.
the blood of the souls of the innocent poor. In those days, people became rich by oppressing poor people.
They saw themselves as more important than other people. They exploited other people.
It is the same in our day.
VERSE 35. “Yet you said, ‘I am innocent. Surely his anger has turned away from me.’ “Behold, I will judge you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’
I have not sinned. This is the claim of the sinner. To sin is to violate God’s will for us. It harms our relationship with God. We all have missed the mark and sinned. Here are the verses we’ve found »
VERSE 36. Why do you go about so much to change your ways? You will be ashamed of Egypt also, as you were ashamed of Assyria.
VERSE 37. You will also leave that place with your hands on your head; for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you won’t prosper with them.
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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.