Verse 1 – Oh, that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!
Verse 2 – Oh, that I had in the wilderness a lodging for wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! For they are all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.
Jeremiah was so grief-stricken over Judah refusing to hear God’s word that he longed for a place of refuge to just take a break.
Verse 3 – “And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know Me,” says the Lord.
Verse 4 – “Everyone take heed to his neighbor, and do not trust any brother; for every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbor will walk with slanders.
Verse 5 – Everyone will deceive his neighbor, and will not speak the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
Verse 6 – Your habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,” says the Lord.
People that believe in false religions, believe them so strong, that when the truth is placed in front of them, they still reject it. False idols and gods are dead, they can’t speak, see, hear, or deliver. This is what Judah was like, they prayed, worshiped, and believed in idols and false gods instead of the True God whom they had seen work miracles among them.
Verse 7 – Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold I will refine them and try them; for how shall I deal with the daughter of My people?
Compassion and mercy are our God. He still was willing to test them and refine those who would separate themselves from sin.
Verse 8 – Their tongue is an arrow shot out; it speaks deceit; one speaks peaceably to his neighbor with his mouth, but in his heart he lies in wait.
Verse 9 – Shall I not punish them for these things?” says the Lord. “Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?”
Verse 10 – I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountains, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that no one can pass through them; nor can men hear the voice of the cattle. Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled; they are gone.
Verse 11 – “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins and a den of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without a habitant.”
Verse 12 – Who is the wise man who may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through?
Verse 13 – And the Lord said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice, nor walked according to it,
Verse 14 – “but they have walked according to the imagination of their own heart and after the Baals, which their fathers taught them,”
Verse 15 – therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: “Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
Verse 16 – “I will scatter them also among the Gentiles, whom neither they nor their fathers have known. And I will send a sword after them until I have consumed them.”
Look what God told Moses to tell the people back in Leviticus: Leviticus 26;21- Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me… Leviticus 33 – I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
Generation after generation, had been warned to obey only God and follow Him. And we, those now living, have been hearing the gospel for thousands of years; have God’s written word, and still will not hear!
Verse 17 – Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for skillful wailing women, that they may come.
Verse 18 – Let them make haste and take up wailing for us, that our eyes may run with tears, and our eyelids gush with water.
They actually had professional mourners that went about wailing in the streets. God said its time to call them up!
Verse 19 – For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion: ‘How we are plundered! We are greatly ashamed, because we have forsaken the land, because we have cast out of our dwellings.’ ”
Verse 20 – Yet hear the word of the Lord, O women, and let your ear receive the word of His mouth; teach your daughters wailing, and everyone her neighbor a lamentation.
Verse 21 – For death has come through our windows, has entered our palaces, to kill off the children – no longer to be outside! And the young men – no longer on the streets!
Verse 22 – Speak, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Even the carcasses of men shall fall as refuse on the open field, like cuttings after the harvester, and no one shall gather them.’ ”
Verse 23 – Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches;
Verse 24 – But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,” says the Lord.
This is very plain and easy to understand what God delights in; lovingkindness and righteousness. Most of the world put value on their wealth and success. It is the Lord who gives power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). Our value will always be in how closely we follow the Lord in His ways and how we treat others. No one becomes a success on their own. Everything we have and do, comes from God All Mighty!
Verse 25 – “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “that I will punish all those who are circumcised with the uncircumcised –
Verse 26 – “Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, and all who are the farthest corners, who dwell in the wilderness. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.”
Circumcision went all the way back to Abraham as a symbol of their covenant relationship to God (Genesis 17:9-14). By Jeremiah’s time, the Israelites had forgotten the spiritual significance of circumcision even though they continued to do the physical ritual.
Our relationship with our Savior is a matter of the heart, always has been. Get your heart right before God, and everything else will follow.