Verse 1 – Then the Lord said to me, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before Me, yet My mind could not be favorable toward this people. Cast them out of My sight, and let them go forth.
Even if Moses or Samuel went to God to persuade God into turning back His wrath, it would do no good. God knew His people would not repent.
Verse 2 – “And it shall be, if they say to you, ‘Where should we go?’ then you shall tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to captivity.” ‘
Verse 3 – “And I will appoint over them four forms of destruction,” says the Lord: “the sword to slay, the dogs to drag, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.
God had different degrees of punishment. Some was for the living and the birds and bests were to consume the dead. None was good, and they knew it was coming, but yet would not repent.
Verse 4 – “I will hand them over to trouble, to all kingdoms of the earth, because Manasseh the son of Hezekiah, the king of Judah, for what he did in Jerusalem.
Here is how evil Manasseh King of Judah was: He rebuilt the high places which King Hezekiah had destroyed; He raised up altars for Baal; he made wooden images and worshiped all the hosts of heaven and served them; he built altars in the two courts of the house of the Lord; he also mad his son pass through the fire (he sacrificed him); he practiced soothsaying ; used witchcraft, and he consulted spirits and mediums. The people of Judah practiced these evils right along with him.
Verse 5 – “For who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem? Or who will bemoan you? Or who will turn aside to ask how you are doing?
Verse 6 – You have forsaken Me,” says the Lord, “You have gone backward. Therefore I will stretch out My hand against you and destroy you; I am weary of relenting!
Verse 7 – And I will winnow them with a winnowing fan in the gates of the land; I will bereaved them of children; I will destroy My people, since they do not return from their ways.
God will use a winnowing fork to toss the nation of Judah like grain is tossed in the wind so the chaff will be blown away.
Verse 8 – Their widows will be increased to Me more than the sands of the sea; I will bring against them, against the mother of the young men, a plunder at noonday; I will cause anguish and terror to fall on them suddenly.
Verse 9 – “She languishes who has borne seven; she has breathed her last; her sun has gone down while it was yet day; she has been ashamed and confounded. And the remnant of them I will deliver to the sword before their enemies,” says the Lord.
A part of Judah was confounded, confused, as to why judgment came. Judah had once been very numerous in people, now grew feeble. Judgment came before their captivity.
Verse 10 – Woe is me, my mother, that you have borne me, a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent for interest, nor have men lent to me for interest. Everyone of them curses me.
Jeremiah had done no wrong, yet the people spoke evil of him. It was because they didn’t want to hear that their sin and refusal to repent was bringing judgment on them from God.
Verse 11 – The Lord said: “Surely it will be well with your remnant; surely I will cause the enemy to intercede with you in the time of adversity and in the time of affliction.
God was going to cause the enemy to treat Jeremiah well during the time of evil. This was fulfilled in Jeremiah 39:11, 12. Nebuchadnezzar had given strict orders to Nebuzaradan, his commander, to look well to Jeremiah, to do him no harm, and to grant him all the privileges he was pleased to ask. God can and does protect His own in the midst of conflict.
Verse 12 – Can anyone break iron, the northern iron and the bronze?
Verse 13 – Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, because of all your sins, throughout your territories.
Verse 14 – And I will make you cross over with your enemies into a land which you do not know; for a fire is kindled in My anger, which shall burn upon you.”
Verse 15 – O Lord, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not take me away in Your longsuffering. Know that for Your sake I have suffered rebuke.
Verse 16 – Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel expressed delight in God’s word. This also may refer to the Books of the law that were found in the temple during King Josiah’s reign.
Verse 17 – I did not sit in the assembly of the mockers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone because of Your hand, for You have filled me with indignation.
From the beginning of Jeremiah’s prophetic life, God had filled his mouth with dreadful messages. His life had been one of mourning and solitude, a time of being alone, weeping and mourning for God’s people.
Verse 18 – Why is my pain perpetual and my wound incurable, which refuses to be healed? Will You surely be to me like an unreliable stream, as waters that fail?
Jeremiah was starting to feel sorry for himself. He knew he’s done all that God asked, so why was he still so miserable. The prophet’s life is not all glamour, it’s a heavy burden that can weigh even the most devoted and devout men down. There will be times in all our lives where we feel that we are just “spinning our wheels.” However, God has the master plan and knows how to bring it all together. Don’t lose sight of your purpose.
Verse 19 – Therefore thus says the Lord: “If you return, then I will bring you back; you shall stand before Me; if you take out the precious from vile, you shall be My mouth. Let them return to you, but you must not return to them.
God wanted Jeremiah to stop talking this way. Return – Jeremiah needed to repent of doubt. God had made him His mouthpiece and could only speak what God said. He was to influence the people and not let the people influence him. Then he could stand before God again, in His presence, without doubt.
Verse 20 – And I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall; and they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you; for I am with you to save you and deliver you,” says the Lord.
Fortified – protected. God promised to protect him against his own people because Jeremiah stayed faithful to God.
Verse 21 – “I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grip of the terrible.”
The wicked Jews had become the enemies along with the Chaldeans. When we are doing our calling in God’s plan, He will protect us. It may look like everyone and everything is coming against you, but in the end, God is always victorious in what He wants to accomplish. Keep your eyes on Him!