Jeremiah 14

1 This is the LORD’s word that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought. 2 “Judah mourns, and its gates languish, they sit in black on the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. 3 Their nobles send their little ones to the waters. They come to the cisterns, and find no water. They return with their vessels empty. They are disappointed and confounded, and cover their heads. 4 Because of the ground which is cracked, because no rain has been in the land. The plowmen are disappointed. They cover their heads. 5 Yes, the hind also in the field calves, and forsakes her young, because there is no grass. 6 The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights. They pant for air like jackals. Their eyes fail, because there is no vegetation. 7 Though our iniquities testify against us, work for your name’s sake, LORD; for our rebellions are many. We have sinned against you. 8 You hope of Israel, its Savior in the time of trouble, why should you be as a foreigner in the land, and as a wayfaring man who turns aside to stay for a night? 9 Why should you be like a scared man, as a mighty man who can’t save? Yet you, LORD, are in the middle of us, and we are called by your name. Don’t leave us. 10 the LORD says to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander. They have not restrained their feet. Therefore the LORD does not accept them. Now he will remember their iniquity, and punish them for their sins.” 11 The LORD said to me, “Don’t pray for this people for their good. 12 When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and meal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence.” 13 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, the prophets tell them, ‘You will not see the sword, neither shall you have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I didn’t send them, neither have I commanded them, neither did I speak to them. They prophesy to you a lying vision, divination, and a thing of nothing, and the deceit of their own heart. 15 Therefore the LORD says concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name, and I didn’t send them, yet they say, ‘Sword and famine will not be in this land.’ Those prophets will be consumed by sword and famine. 16 The people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword. They shall have no one to bury them—them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness on them. 17 “You shall say this word to them, “‘Let my 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 wound. 18 If I go out into the field, then, behold, the slain with the sword! If I enter into the city, then, behold, those who are sick with famine! For both the prophet and the priest go about in the land, and have no knowledge.’” 19 Have you utterly rejected Judah? Has your soul loathed Zion? Why have you struck us, and there is no healing for us? We looked for peace, but no good came; and for a time of healing, and behold, dismay! 20 We acknowledge, LORD, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers; for we have sinned against you. 21 Do not abhor us, for your name’s sake. Do not disgrace the throne of your glory. Remember, and don’t break your covenant with us. 22 Are there any amongst the vanities of the nations that can cause rain? Or can the sky give showers? Aren’t you he, the LORD our God? Therefore we will wait for you; for you have made all these things.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-9

The people were in tears. But it was rather the cry of their trouble, and of their sin, than of their prayer. Let us be thankful for the mercy of water, that we may not be taught to value it by feeling the want of it. See what dependence husbandmen have upon the Divine providence. They cannot plough nor sow in hope, unless God water their furrows. The case even of the wild beasts was very pitiable. The people are not forward to pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly confessed. Our sins not only accuse us, but answer against us. Our best pleas in prayer are those fetched from the glory of God’s own name. We should dread God’s departure, more than the removal of our creature-comforts. He has given Israel his word to hope in. It becomes us in prayer to show ourselves more concerned for God’s glory than for our own comfort. And if we now return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his grace.

Verses 10-16

The Lord calls the Jews “this people,” not “his people.” They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them according to their sins. He forbade Jeremiah to plead for them. The false prophets were the most criminal. The Lord pronounces condemnation on them; but as the people loved to have it so, they were not to escape judgments. False teachers encourage men to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith, conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie must not plead if for an excuse. They shall feel what they say they will not fear.

Verses 17-22

Jeremiah acknowledged his own sins, and those of the people, but pleaded with the Lord to remember his covenant. In their distress none of the idols of the Gentiles could help them, nor could the heavens give rain of themselves. The Lord will always have a people to plead with him at his mercy-seat. He will heal every truly repenting sinner. Should he not see fit to hear our prayers on behalf of our guilty land, he will certainly bless with salvation all who confess their sins and seek his mercy.

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