Verse 1 – The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Verse 2 – “Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; (“This was delivered the first year of the reign of Zedekiah.)
Verse 3 – “And say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “Cursed is the man who does not obey the words of this covenant
Verse 4 – “which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and do according to all that I command you; so shall be My people, and I will be your God,’
Verse 5 – “that I may establish the oath which I have sworn to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.” ‘ ” then I answered and said, “So be it, Lord.”
The covenant was given at Sinai. There were two terms – a curse and the call to obey. Obedience would bring blessing and disobedience would bring a curse. This land flowing with milk and honey was a figure of speech showing the fruitfulness of Canaan.
Verse 6 – Then the Lord said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying: ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them.
Verse 7 – ‘For I earnestly exhorted your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, until this day, rising early and exhorting, saying, “Obey My voice.”
“Until this day”, shows this warning had been given year after year to no avail.
Verse 8 – ‘Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but everyone walked in the imagination of his heart; therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but which they have not done.’ ”
Verse 9 – And the Lord said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
There seems to have been a revolt against God, by all the people of Judah. They all had their heart set on going in the opposite direction.
Verse 10 – “They have turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.”
Verse 11 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “Behold I will surely bring calamity on them which they will not be able to escape; and though they cry out to Me, I will not listen to them.
Verse 12 – “Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they offer incense, but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
Verse 13 – “For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.
Verse 14 – “Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry out to Me because of their trouble.
Have you ever thought that your sin was so big or that you had done too much wrong for God to forgive you? The problem wasn’t that Judah’s sin was too big to forgive; the problem was, they were unrepentant for their sin. If only they had truly been willing to turn from their wicked ways, God would have forgiven them. The same problem exists today; people want to claim the blessings and promises of the Bible, but yet are not willing to walk away from their sin and commit to God. They want to bargain with God; “If you, O God, get me out of this, then I’ll…” Commit first and watch your heart change and then your life will change.
Verse 15 – “What has My beloved to do in My house, having done lewd deeds with many? And the holy flesh has passed from you. When you do evil, then you rejoice.
Judah had been the Lord’s beloved and just like someone who does evil, they lost their privileges.
Verse 16 – The Lord called your name, Green Olive Tree, Lovely and of Good Fruit. With the noise of a great tumult He has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken.
Verse 17 – “For the Lord of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced doom against you for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke Me to anger in offering incense to Baal.”
These verses show another attribute of God’s character: “Have no other gods before Me!” Statues that are bowed down before; money; houses; even people that are worshiped, are all in the category of putting something other than God first in their lives. It was called idol worship then and it’s still idol worship today. Our God changes not!
Verse 18 – Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings.
Verse 19 – But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”
To Jeremiah’s surprise, the people of Anathoth, his hometown, were plotting to kill him. Jeremiah had two options; run and hide, or call on God. We too will have two options when we are in trouble; we can either ignore the situation by putting our heads in the sand or we can turn to God first. Jeremiah turned to God and He revealed their plot to kill him.
Verse 20 – But O Lord of hosts, You who judge righteously, testing the mind and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You I have revealed my cause.
Verse 21 – “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand; –
Verse 22 – “therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine;
Verse 23 – ‘and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.’ ”
The young men of Anathoth were going to die by the sword of the Chaldeans and their sons and daughters would starve to death. None would survive. Psalm 105:15 – Saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.”