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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah

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FRAMEWORKS: Jeremiah 9: Anguish for Rebellion and Unfaithfulness

 

[Preliminary Comment : This chapter is about the anguish that is being caused in the prophet's heart [reflecting God's?] as he sees the reality of the sin of his people: their spiritual unfaithfulness, the lies they speak, the deception they reveal, the judgment that will fall on them because of their rebellion. In a society where there were professional mourners, these people are challenged to see the awful need and really mourn over it, the destructive judgment that is coming soon.]

 

 

v.1 Jeremiah's anguish for his people

v.1  Oh, that my head were a spring of water
    and my eyes a fountain of tears!
I would weep day and night
    for the slain of my people.
     

v.2 Part of his anguish is in recognizing their unfaithfulness

v.2  Oh, that I had in the desert
    a lodging place for travellers,
so that I might leave my people
    and go away from them;
for they are all adulterers,
    a crowd of unfaithful people.

 

v.3-5 Their words reveal both their unfaithfulness and hostility to one another

v.3  ‘They make ready their tongue
    like a bow, to shoot lies;
it is not by truth
    that they triumph in the land.
They go from one sin to another;
    they do not acknowledge me,'
declares the Lord .
v.4  ‘Beware of your friends;
    do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver,
    and every friend a slanderer.
v.5  Friend deceives friend,
    and no one speaks the truth.
They have taught their tongues to lie;
    they weary themselves with sinning.
     

v.6 Part of their deception is in their unbelief

v.6  You live in the midst of deception;
    in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,'
declares the Lord .

 

v.7-9 The Lord will hold them accountable for this

v.7  Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:

‘See, I will refine and test them,
    for what else can I do
    because of the sin of my people?
v.8  Their tongue is a deadly arrow;
    it speaks deceitfully.
With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbours,
    but in their hearts they set traps for them.
v.9  Should I not punish them for this?'
    declares the Lord.
‘Should I not avenge myself
    on such a nation as this?'

 

v.10,11 The coming devastation is the cause of a lament

v.10  I will weep and wail for the mountains
    and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands.
They are desolate and untravelled,
    and the lowing of cattle is not heard.
The birds have all fled
    and the animals are gone.

v.11  ‘I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,
    a haunt of jackals;
and I will lay waste the towns of Judah
    so that no one can live there.'

 

v.12 No one seems to understand all this

v.12  Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?

 

v.13-16 It's very simple: they will be judged for their rebellion and disobedience

v.13  The Lord said, ‘It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law.

v.14  Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.'

v.15  Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water.

v.16  I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.'

 

v.17-19 Send for the professional wailers for there is real cause to wail

v.17  This is what the Lord Almighty says:

‘Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come;
    send for the most skilful of them.
v.18  Let them come quickly
    and wail over us
till our eyes overflow with tears
    and water streams from our eyelids.
v.19  The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:
    “How ruined we are!
    How great is our shame!
We must leave our land
    because our houses are in ruins.”'

 

v.20,21 Wailers realize how awful the situation really is

v.20  Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;
    open your ears to the words of his mouth.
Teach your daughters how to wail;
    teach one another a lament.
v.21  Death has climbed in through our windows
    and has entered our fortresses;
it has removed the children from the streets
    and the young men from the public squares.

 

v.22 Realise there will be dead bodies all over the place

v.22  Say, ‘This is what the Lord declares:

‘“Dead bodies will lie
    like dung on the open field,
like cut corn behind the reaper,
    with no one to gather them.”'

 

v.23,24 Real wisdom is knowing the Lord

v.23  This is what the Lord says:

‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
    or the strong boast of their strength
    or the rich boast of their riches,
v.24  but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord , who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,'
declares the Lord.

 

v.25,26 Circumcision is a heart thing and all others will be punished

v.25  ‘The days are coming,' declares the Lord, ‘when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh –

v.26  Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.'

  

   

Continue to Chapter 10