When God’s Patience Dries Up

January 2, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Posted in Jeremiah | 6 Comments
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In Jeremiah Chapter 13 the prophet preached a series of short parables on the punishment of Judah, describing its citizens as: people who wanted wine, but ended up being helpless drunks; people who wanted to be fruitful, but had such pain in childbirth that they would bring forth death instead of life; people who wanted the pleasure of promiscuity, but would end up like a disgraced harlot; people who wanted a plentiful harvest of wheat, but would end up blown away like chaff.

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth.

Jeremiah 14:1

“Dearth” describes not only drought – lack of water in a land not irrigated by a river but by seasonal rains – but numerous droughts over the years. In keeping with God’s promises, if His people violated His Covenant they would experience drought in the city.

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

Jeremiah 14:2

They would experience drought on the farms.

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

Jeremiah 14:3-4

They would experience drought in the open fields.

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

Jeremiah 14:5

Jeremiah hated to see this particular kind of suffering, but the Lord would not be dissuaded.

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

Jeremiah 14:11

Forbidden to pray for the people as a mediator, he identified himself with the people and then prayed for himself.

We acknowledge, O Lord, our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers: for we have sinned against thee. Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory: remember, break not thy covenant with us.

Jeremiah 14:20-21

We should pray this way to begin with, since we should see ourselves as the people rather than as Jeremiah, but it was actually begging the question and only proving God’s righteousness with a greater emphasis, for He was not the one breaking the Covenant.

Reminiscent of his response to his original prophetic call (“Ah, Lord God!”), Jeremiah’s heart was broken over the behavior of the false prophets who lied to the people and led them astray.

Then 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.

Jeremiah 14:13

He asked God to hold them, rather than the people, accountable, and God WOULD hold them to a higher standard of judgment: death and eternal punishment, rather than captivity and temporal chastening.

Then 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.

Jeremiah 14:14

God knew that they were prophesying falsely and deceiving the people not through error or simple disobedience, but because of their deceitful HEARTS. If someone you loved was physically harmed, you would very likely want to seek retribution against the perpetrators, but it is also very likely that you would want to go after the bystanders who did nothing – out of self-interest or apathy – to prevent the harm to your loved one during the attack.

HOWEVER, the actions of the false prophets did not excuse the people. God had given them the leaders they deserved.

And 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.

Jeremiah 14:16

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  1. […] had placed himself in a collective position with the people: not just speaking on their behalf, but speaking as one of them. Perhaps we should pray this way […]

  2. […] Chapters 30-33 seem to be grouped together as promises of restoration. They are yet another turning point in the Book of Jeremiah, and are in stark contrast to the vast majority of what comes before. They […]

  3. […] had no hope, and You promised to bring us into the promised land, and it’s totally our fault – we’ve broken the Covenant, not You – but, Lord, You know what the heathen are gonna say. They’re gonna say You weren’t […]

  4. […] Lord is patient, but He does not abide fruitlessness […]

  5. […] The people were so far gone – reprobate – that God did not even want Jeremiah to pray for them. […]

  6. […] Notice that the Lord did not say that He would only allow evil to come upon them; He said He would BRING it. The point had come where He would not even relent and hear their prayers. […]


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