Jeremiah 14 ✒️ Repentance

June 11, 2024 • Dr. Dave Burnette

 1 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.

 2Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up.

 3And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads.

 4Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.

 5Yea, the hind also calved in the field, and forsook it, because there was no grass.

 6And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass.

 7O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake: for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against thee.

 8O the hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble, why shouldest thou be as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring man that turneth aside to tarry for a night?

 9Why shouldest thou be as a man astonied, as a mighty man that cannot save? yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.

 10Thus saith the LORD unto this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.

 11Then said the LORD unto me, Pray not for this people for their good.

 12When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.

 13Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.

 14Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

 15Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed.

 16And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

 17Therefore thou shalt say this word unto them; Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease: for the virgin daughter of my people is broken with a great breach, with a very grievous blow.

 18If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! and if I enter into the city, then behold them that are sick with famine! yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not.

 19Hast thou utterly rejected Judah? hath thy soul lothed Zion? why hast thou smitten us, and there is no healing for us? we looked for peace, and there is no good; and for the time of healing, and behold trouble!

 20We acknowledge, O LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee.

 21Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

 22Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art not thou he, O LORD our God? therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.

COMMENTARY by Dr. Dave Burnette

Written By: God through Inspiration

Penned By: Jeremiah

Date Penned: (627-586 BC)

Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)

Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)

Message: God Pronounces Doom for Jerusalem (v 1-22)

Jeremiah 14 Commentary 

(14:1) A Drought on Judah - This section opens with God sending a drought on Judah and refusing to answer the people's prayers for rain. It continues with Jeremiah's description of the judgment to come. 

(14:1-22) Judgement - Drought was a judgment with devastating consequences. As usual, when their backs were to the wall, the people cried out to God. They thought their privileged position as God's covenant people would save them. But God rejected their plea because they did not repent; he knew that they merely wanted his rescue. Neither their privileged history nor Jeremiah's prayers on their behalf would help. Their only hope was to turn sincerely to God. 

(14:7-9) Accusing God - The people were crying out to God, but only to manipulate him into sending rain to end the devastating drought. Instead of repenting for their sin, they appealed to God's reputation and accused him of acting like a stranger. They accused God of being confused or helpless to save them. Today, people attempt to coerce God by promising to become better or serve him in return for him answering their prayers. They pray self-serving prayers and do not seek what God wants. How much better to confess our sins and ask for his will to be done in our lives! 

(14:10) Wandering - The people of Israel loved to wander far from God. They could not refrain from worshiping idols. Hosea noticed a similar pattern (Hosea 7:16). Like sheep without a shepherd, we all share the tendency to wander far from God (Isaiah. 53:6). When you sense that you are going down the wrong path or drifting away from God, stop and ponder the possible consequences. Then sincerely look up to God, acknowledge you've been going the wrong way, and ask him to show you the way back. 

(14:11-12) False Repentance - The people of Judah had stretched God's patience. Their false repentance and empty rituals had continued long enough, and God refused to listen to their cries. For a third time God told Jeremiah not to pray for the people. Why would God listen to the people's prayers when they considered him less important than handmade idols of wood and stone? Why not let the idols answer their prayers? If you are trusting in something besides God when all is going well, you will likely still trust in this false god when trouble comes. Don't wait until trouble comes to try to transfer your allegiance to the one true God. Trust him now. 

(14:14) False Teachers - What made the people listen to and support the false prophets? These "prophets" said what the people wanted to hear. False teachers can gain fame and money by telling people what they want to hear, but they lead people away from God. If we permit and accommodate false teachers, we are as guilty as they are. 

(14:19-22) Intercession - Interceding for the people, Jeremiah asked God if Judah's repentance would bring his help. But God refused to come to the people's aid (15:1) because they were insincere, wicked, and stubborn. He knew their hearts. The people knew God wanted to bless them, and they knew what they needed to do to receive that blessing. They wanted God to do his part, but they did not want to do theirs. It's easy to express sorrow for sinful actions, especially when we want something, but we must be willing to stop doing what is wrong. God will forgive those who are truly repentant, but he sees right through the false hearts of hypocrites.

LIFE APPLICATION by Dr. Dave Burnette

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 14. In our text today we see God pronounces judgment on Judah with a drought to have the people cry out to God in prayer for deliverance to have God ignore their prayer because they failed to repent. In making application we see that repentance is Key to have God hear from you. Today many call out to the Lord, lacking repentance (or a turn) from sin, to have the Lord not acknowledge their prayer. How about you? Do you repent before and as you pray? Let us learn from our text today and the example hear in Jeremiah to remember that repentance is key to have your prayers heard and answered by a Holy God. 

More from Jeremiah