This section opens with God sending a drought on Judah and refusing to answer their prayers.
Verse 1 – The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the droughts.
Drought was a judgment with devastating consequences. As they had done before, they cried out to God, but only wanted delivered, even though they still rejected Him.
Verse 2 – “Judah mourns, and her gates languish; they mourn for the land, and the cry of Jerusalem has gone up.
Verse 3 – Their nobles have sent their lads for water; they went to the cisterns and found no water. They returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded and covered their heads.
Verse 4 – Because the ground is parched, for there was no rain in the land, the plowman were ashamed; they covered their heads.
Verse 5 – Yes, the deer also gave birth in the field, but left because there was no grass.
Verse 6 – And the wild donkeys stood in the desolate heights; they sniffed at the wind like jackals; their eyes failed because there was no grass.”
This brings to mind how people are today: They know they need help, but will run to every source except God. There is no substitute or power who can deliver you like our God can. When pride is swallowed and the knee is bowed, then you will see His Mighty hand on your life, and there lies the problem: Some people won’t admit they can’t do it, whatever it is.
Jeremiah’s First Intercession
Verse 7 – O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against You.
Verse 8 – O the hope of Israel, his Savior in time of trouble, why should You be like a stranger in the land, and like a wayfaring man who turns aside to tarry for a night?
Verse 9 – Why should You be like a man astonished, like a mighty one who cannot save? Yet You, O Lord, are in our midst, and we are called by Your name; do not leave us!
Jeremiah knew that only God could relieve their suffering. He also knew that only God controlled the rain. But, God also saw the sincerity of the heart of the people and knew if He brought rain, it would not change their hearts one bit back towards Him.
Verse 10 – Thus says the Lord to this people: “Thus they have loved to wander; they have not restrained their feet. Therefore the Lord does not accept them; He will remember their iniquity now, and punish their sins.”
Verse 11 – Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for this people, for their good.
Verse 12 – “When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence.”
Jeremiah’s Second Intercession
Verse 13 – Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place,’ ”
Verse 14 – And the Lord said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.
False prophets and teachers tell people what they want to hear, which is only good things. They do it for fame and money. A true prophet is chosen by God, only speaks what God says to speak, and it will come to pass what they spoke. There will be evidence of what they said.
Verse 15 – “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’ – ‘By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed!
Verse 16 – ‘And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them – them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughter’s for I will pour their wickedness on them.’
Verse 17 – “Therefore you shall say this word to them: “Let my eyes flow with tears night and day, and let them not cease; for the virgin daughter of My people has been broken with a mighty stroke, with a very severe blow.
The virgin daughter of my people – Judah had been protected as virgins are in an oriental household.
Verse 18 – If I go out to the field, then behold, those slain with the sword! And if I enter the city, then behold, those sick from famine! Yes, both prophet and priest go about in a land they do not know.’ ”
Jeremiah’s Third Intercession
Verse 19 – Have You utterly rejected Judah? Has Your soul loathed Zion? Why have You stricken us so that there is no healing for us? We look for peace, but there was no good; and for the time of healing, and there was trouble.
Verse 20 – Do not abhor us, for Your name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of Your glory. Remember, do not break Your covenant with us.
Verse 22 – Are there any among the idols of the nations that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are You not He, O Lord God? Therefore we will wait for You, since You have made all things.
Nowhere does it say, “And the people repented” Yes they were suffering; yes Jeremiah was suffering also; but Jeremiah was interceding for the people after God told him not to. We take people at their word when they express a sorrowful attitude. However, time revealed in their actions will truly show whether or not they were sincere. God sees the heart. We just keep sowing the seed no matter where it falls.