Irresponsibility is Found in a Fickle Foreign Policy

In a fishing village that lay at the mouth of a turbulent river, a cry rang out, “Boy overboard!” A rope was brought, and the strongest swimmer in the village volunteered to rescue the drowning lad. Tying one end of the rope to his waist, he threw the other among … More


Jeremiah makes a charge against these backsliding people. He paints four verbal pictures (vv. 20-28):

  1. An animal that had broken its yoke (v. 20) - Judah had broke off her yoke that had bound her to her Lord and followed after the gods of her heathen neighbor.
  2. A choice vine that became a wild vine (v. 21) - Judah had been planted and nurtured by God but in spite of His care, she had become incapable of producing good fruit.
  3. A stain that could not be washed off (v. 22) - Her sin had become so ingrained that even lye and soap could not remove it.
  4. A wild female camel and donkey that could not be restrained (v. 23-28) - Judah vigorously pursued her false gods and could not be restrained in her lust for them.

Jeremiah points out how Judah has become spiritually irresponsible (vv. 29-37):

  1. In spite of her sin, she thought she could bring charges against God (vv. 29-30).
  2. She forgot God’s past dealings (vv. 31-33) - “They have forgotten me.” (vv. 32-33).
  3. An indication of irresponsibility is her involvement of shedding innocent blood (vv. 34-35).
  4. Also, Judah’s irresponsibility is found in her fickle foreign policy (vv. 36-37).


If I desire something so much that I’ll do anything to get it, this is a sign that I am irresponsible, addicted to it and out of tune with God.

Jeremiah 2:20-37 (English Standard Version)

"For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, 'I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore. Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine? Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD. How can you say, 'I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done-- a restless young camel running here and there, a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, 'It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.' "As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, who say to a tree, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, 'Arise and save us!' But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. "Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD. In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, 'We are free, we will come no more to you'? Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. "How well you direct your course to seek love! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways. Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things you say, 'I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, 'I have not sinned.' How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria. From it too you will come away with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them."

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