Verse 1 – “If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord, “Return to Me; and if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, then you shall not be moved.
At this point, the people had not yet truly repented.
Verse 2 – And you shall swear, ‘ The Lord lives,’ in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; the nations shall bless themselves in Him, and in Him they shall glory.”
Verse 3 – For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: “Break up your fallow ground, and do not sow among thorns.
Jeremiah tells the people to break up the hardness of their hearts. You can’t plant a good seed in soil that is hard as a brick. When we back away from God, our hearts will become hardened. Good soil needs to be watered.
Verse 4 – Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskin of your hearts, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, lest My fury come forth like fire, and burn so that no one can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.”
Circumcision of the heart is to put away the corruption. Any religious ritual done without the right heart towards God is worthless.
Verse 5 – Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: “Blow the trumpet in the land; cry, ‘Gather together,’ and say, ‘Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities.’
Verse 6 – Set up the standard toward Zion. Take refuge! Do not delay! For I will bring disaster from the north, and great destruction.”
Verse 7 – The lion has come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place to make your land desolate. Your cities will be laid waste, without inhabitant.
The disaster would come from the north, Babylon, when Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar would attack.
Verse 8 – For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth, lament and wail. For the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned back from us.
Verse 9 – “And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord, “that the heart of the king shall parish, and the heart of the princes; the priest shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.”
Verse 10 – Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! surely You have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘You shall have peace,’ Whereas the sword reaches to the heart.”
Jeremiah knew God hadn’t deceived His people, but others had. The false prophets had told them blessings and peace was in store for them, but they heard what they wanted to hear because of their blindness to their sin.
Verse 11 – At that time it will be said to this people to Jerusalem, “A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness toward the daughter of My people – not to fan or to cleanse –
Verse 12 – A wind too strong for these will come for Me; now I will also speak judgement against them.”
Verse 13 – “Behold, he shall come up like clouds, and his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!”
Verse 14 – O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall evil thoughts lodge within you!
Verse 15 – For a voice declares from Dan and proclaims affliction from Mount Ephraim:
Disaster was announced first from Dan, the northern border of Israel. No one would be able to stop these armies. They would descend on Judah like a cloud.
Verse 16 – “Make mention to the nations, yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country and raise their voice against the cities of Judah.
Verse 17 – Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, because she has been rebellious against Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 18 – “Your ways and your doings He procured these things for you. This is your wickedness, because it is bitter, because it reaches to your heart.”
The people’s wickedness had been the cause of bringing such a bitter enemy against them, which reached into the very heart.
Verse 19 – O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because you have heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.
Jeremiah was in anguish over the coming destruction from Babylon. Have you ever been in anguish over our nation and the shape its in? I can honestly say I have been only a few times. Most of the time when things go wrong all around, but doesn’t affect us immediately, we will have a blind eye to what doesn’t concern us or our loved ones.
How do you think our nation became so corrupt in the first place? It was because each live unto themselves. It’s called backsliding away from the things of God. If God brought judgment on Israel, do you not think judgment is coming to the US.
Verse 20 – Destruction upon destruction is cried, for the whole land is plundered. Suddenly my tents are plundered, and my curtains in a moment.
Verse 21 – How long will I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?
Verse 22 – “For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and the heavens above be black, because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, nor will I turn back from it.
Verse 29 – The whole city shall flee from noise of the horseman and bowmen. They shall go into thickets and climb up on rocks. Every city shall be forsaken, and not a main shall dwell in it.
Verse 30 – “And when you are plundered, what will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, though you enlarge your eyes with paint, in vain you will make yourself fair; your lovers will despise you; they will seek your life.
Jeremiah depicted Jerusalem in her death agony still rejecting God as her husband. Instead of choosing repentance and mourning, she dressed in scarlet, adorned in gold jewelry, enlarged her eyes with paint, and played the harlot.
Verse 31 – “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in labor, the anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself, who spreads her hands, saying, ‘Woe is me now, for my soul is weary because of murderers!’