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These verses describe a great drought upon the land (vv. 1-2). One of the covenant curses God threatened to send on the disobedient nation was drought (Duet. 28:22-24). In a land where rainfall is marginal, a drought can have far-reaching effects. As a consequence of the people’s sin, a severe drought had come upon the land (v. 1). The country and cities mourn (v. 2). There is no water to fill their cisterns (vv. 3-4). The nobles sent their children to the cisterns in search of water, but to no avail. The “lads” and “plowmen” covered their heads from shame. Even the “deer” (v. 5) gave birth and then left their young because there was no grass. The “wild donkeys” (v. 6) sniff the air for moisture. Their “eyes” have “failed” from weakness because there is no grass.
God told Jeremiah not to pray for the people. Why pray when He was less important to them than the handmade idols they were worshiping. If I am trusting something other than God when things are going well, I will be content to trust in this false god when trouble comes?
The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought: "Judah mourns, and her gates languish; her people lament on the ground, and the cry of Jerusalem goes up. Her nobles send their servants for water; they come to the cisterns; they find no water; they return with their vessels empty; they are ashamed and confounded and cover their heads. Because of the ground that is dismayed, since there is no rain on the land, the farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads. Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn because there is no grass. The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; they pant for air like jackals; their eyes fail because there is no vegetation. "Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O LORD, for your name's sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us." Thus says the LORD concerning this people: "They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the LORD does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins." The LORD said to me: "Do not pray for the welfare of this people. Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. But I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence."
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Jeremiah 11:1-23Obedience Includes Hearing And Doing
Jeremiah 12:1-17The Way of The Wicked Doesn’t Prosper
Jeremiah 13:1-11Fellowship With The Lord is Important
Jeremiah 13:12-27Result of Rejecting The Light
Jeremiah 14:1-12Sword, Famine And Pestilence
Jeremiah 14:13-22Jeremiah Pleads For The People
Jeremiah 15:1-14Discouraged but not forsaken
Jeremiah 15:15-21Live to Influence, Not be Influenced
Jeremiah 16:1-21God Sees Everything
Jeremiah 17:1-18God Must be Number One
Jeremiah 17:19-27The Sabbath Day is Still Saturday