1079.) Jeremiah 14

Jer14 22

Jeremiah 14   (NLT)

Judah’s Terrible Drought

The people are so hardened in their sin that God will not answer even Jeremiah’s prayer for deliverance from the punishment of drought.  In answer to Jeremiah’s question whether God has rejected Judah completely (verse 9), God replies that the coming judgment is inevitable because of Judah’s sin.  (The Reformation Bible)

This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord, explaining why he was holding back the rain:

“Judah wilts;
    commerce at the city gates grinds to a halt.
All the people sit on the ground in mourning,
    and a great cry rises from Jerusalem.
The nobles send servants to get water,
    but all the wells are dry.
The servants return with empty pitchers,
    confused and desperate,
    covering their heads in grief.
The ground is parched
    and cracked for lack of rain.
The farmers are deeply troubled;
    they, too, cover their heads.
Even the doe abandons her newborn fawn
    because there is no grass in the field.
The wild donkeys stand on the bare hills
    panting like thirsty jackals.
They strain their eyes looking for grass,
    but there is none to be found.”

Such a clear picture Jeremiah paints with his words!

The people say, “Our wickedness has caught up with us, Lord,
    but help us for the sake of your own reputation.
We have turned away from you
    and sinned against you again and again.
O Hope of Israel, our Savior in times of trouble,
    why are you like a stranger to us?
Why are you like a traveler passing through the land,
    stopping only for the night?
Are you also confused?
    Is our champion helpless to save us?
You are right here among us, Lord.
    We are known as your people.
    Please don’t abandon us now!”

The prophet Jeremiah, confessing for the people, asks for relief from the drought and the famine.  But the Lord says there will be no relief; rather, the people will be destroyed by sword, by famine, and by pestilence.

–William MacDonald

10 So this is what the Lord says to his people:
“You love to wander far from me
    and do not restrain yourselves.
Therefore, I will no longer accept you as my people.
    Now I will remember all your wickedness
    and will punish you for your sins.”

The Lord Forbids Jeremiah to Intercede

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for these people anymore.

We are instructed often in Scripture to pray unceasingly, with fervency and belief.  So it is a bit of a shock to hear God say, “Don’t pray for them.”  God’s patience had run out with the people’s continual sinning and he had made up his mind as to his course of action.  Sad words:  Too Late.

12 When they fast, I will pay no attention. When they present their burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept them. Instead, I will devour them with war, famine, and disease.”

13 Then I said, “O Sovereign Lord, their prophets are telling them, ‘All is well—no war or famine will come. The Lord will surely send you peace.’”

14 Then the Lord said, “These prophets are telling lies in my name. I did not send them or tell them to speak. I did not give them any messages. They prophesy of visions and revelations they have never seen or heard. They speak foolishness made up in their own lying hearts. 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I will punish these lying prophets, for they have spoken in my name even though I never sent them. They say that no war or famine will come, but they themselves will die by war and famine!

This is one of the most frightening themes in the Bible, in my opinion — that there are those who think they are serving God in their religious work, but God does not know them.  Lord, help me be a true disciple!

Matthew 7:15-23   (NIV)

True and False Prophets

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

True and False Disciples

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

16 As for the people to whom they prophesy—their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and war. There will be no one left to bury them. Husbands, wives, sons, and daughters—all will be gone. For I will pour out their own wickedness on them. 17 Now, Jeremiah, say this to them:

“Night and day my eyes overflow with tears.
    I cannot stop weeping,
for my virgin daughter—my precious people—
    has been struck down
    and lies mortally wounded.
18 If I go out into the fields,
    I see the bodies of people slaughtered by the enemy.
If I walk the city streets,
    I see people who have died of starvation.
The prophets and priests continue with their work,
    but they don’t know what they’re doing.”

A Prayer for Healing

Jer14 healed

19 Lord, have you completely rejected Judah?
    Do you really hate Jerusalem?
Why have you wounded us past all hope of healing?
    We hoped for peace, but no peace came.
    We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.
20 Lord, we confess our wickedness
    and that of our ancestors, too.
    We all have sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your reputation, Lord, do not abandon us.
    Do not disgrace your own glorious throne.
Please remember us,
    and do not break your covenant with us.

22 Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain?
    Does it fall from the sky by itself?
No, you are the one, O Lord our God!
    Only you can do such things.
    So we will wait for you to help us.

Jer14 raining

Psalm 135:6-7   (NIV)

The Lord does whatever pleases him,
    in the heavens and on the earth,
    in the seas and all their depths.
He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth;
    he sends lightning with the rain
    and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

_________________________

Music:

verse 22:  So we will wait for you to help us.

HERE  is “While I’m Waiting”  by John Waller.  Perhaps you are waiting for something or someone . . . such a long time, it seems . . .  and you may be weary.  Jesus understands, and is beside you even in the waiting.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)  Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Are there any among the idols.   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9Rqh7uEvYJg/UJwonzwkdII/AAAAAAAAAdc/qhRTWKOfa88/s640/jeremiah-14-22.png
by his stripes.   http://danielgelyana.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/healing_header.jpg
raining.    http://listresearchers.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/raining-coloring-page.jpg

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