We Must Fear The Lord

Two explorers were on a jungle safari when suddenly a lion jumped in front of them. “Keep calm” the first explorer whispered. “Remember what we read in that book on wild animals? If you stand perfectly still and look the lion in the eye, he will turn and run. … More


God told Jeremiah that his words would be like a fire (v. 14) that would consume the people. He would bring judgment (Babylon) against Judah. This was a nation whose language they did not know (v. 15). The difference of language would make it more difficult to achieve peace. These soldiers would devour the crops, herds and children of the Judeans (v. 16). They would also destroy the fortified cities which Judah trusted for protection (v. 17) but He would preserve a remnant (v. 18). He warns the people of the coming judgment, even as they were serving foreign gods in their own land (v. 19).

The prophet is now sent to them on another errand, which is to persuade them to fear God (vv. 20-21). He suggests some of the things that produce a holy fear (awesome respect) for God.

  1. We must fear the Lord and His greatness (v. 22). Nature, as it is revealed in the waves and sands of the sea, gives incontestable proof of His power and sovereign dominion. This shows how much we must depend on His mercy, even when others turn away (v. 23).
  2. We must fear the Lord and His goodness (v. 24). He is continually doing us good as He gives us both the former and latter rain; the former a little after seed time and the latter a little before harvest, and both in their season.

Jeremiah explains how their sins have withheld good things from them (vv. 25-29). Even the priests and the prophets have become corrupt and self-serving (vv. 30-31). It is appalling and horrifying that the priests and prophets would pervert the message of God and that the people would “love to have it so.” Even Jeremiah’s chilling words, “What will you do in the end (v. 31)?” didn’t shake them.


The only thing I need to fear is the Lord and have a holy reverence for Him and His Word.

Jeremiah 5:14-31 (English Standard Version)

Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts: "Because you have spoken this word, behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire, and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them. Behold, I am bringing against you a nation from afar, O house of Israel, declares the LORD. It is an enduring nation; it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language you do not know, nor can you understand what they say. Their quiver is like an open tomb; they are all mighty warriors. They shall eat up your harvest and your food; they shall eat up your sons and your daughters; they shall eat up your flocks and your herds; they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees; your fortified cities in which you trust they shall beat down with the sword." "But even in those days, declares the LORD, I will not make a full end of you. And when your people say, 'Why has the LORD our God done all these things to us?' you shall say to them, 'As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.'" Declare this in the house of Jacob; proclaim it in Judah: "Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not. Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it. But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away. They do not say in their hearts, 'Let us fear the LORD our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain, and keeps for us the weeks appointed for the harvest.' Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you. For wicked men are found among my people; they lurk like fowlers lying in wait. They set a trap; they catch men. Like a cage full of birds, their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich; they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy. Shall I not punish them for these things? declares the LORD, and shall I not avenge myself on a nation such as this?" An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?

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