Lord, open my eyes to see the message You want me to receive today.
Read Jeremiah 6:1–15
Jerusalem Under Siege
6 “Flee for safety, people of Benjamin!
Flee from Jerusalem!
Sound the trumpet in Tekoa!
Raise the signal over Beth Hakkerem!
For disaster looms out of the north,
even terrible destruction.
2 I will destroy Daughter Zion,
so beautiful and delicate.
3 Shepherds with their flocks will come against her;
they will pitch their tents around her,
each tending his own portion.”
4 “Prepare for battle against her!
Arise, let us attack at noon!
But, alas, the daylight is fading,
and the shadows of evening grow long.
5 So arise, let us attack at night
and destroy her fortresses!”
6 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Cut down the trees
and build siege ramps against Jerusalem.
This city must be punished;
it is filled with oppression.
7 As a well pours out its water,
so she pours out her wickedness.
Violence and destruction resound in her;
her sickness and wounds are ever before me.
8 Take warning, Jerusalem,
or I will turn away from you
and make your land desolate
so no one can live in it.”
9 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Let them glean the remnant of Israel
as thoroughly as a vine;
pass your hand over the branches again,
like one gathering grapes.”
10 To whom can I speak and give warning?
Who will listen to me?
Their ears are closed
so they cannot hear.
The word of the Lord is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.
11 But I am full of the wrath of the Lord,
and I cannot hold it in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street
and on the young men gathered together;
both husband and wife will be caught in it,
and the old, those weighed down with years.
12 Their houses will be turned over to others,
together with their fields and their wives,
when I stretch out my hand
against those who live in the land,”
declares the Lord.
13 “From the least to the greatest,
all are greedy for gain;
prophets and priests alike,
all practice deceit.
14 They dress the wound of my people
as though it were not serious.
‘Peace, peace,’ they say,
when there is no peace.
15 Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct?
No, they have no shame at all;
they do not even know how to blush.
So they will fall among the fallen;
they will be brought down when I punish them,”
says the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect“Turn your eyes upon Jesus… the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace” (Helen H. Lemmel, 1863–1961).
Jeremiah can’t hold it in any longer (11): he must pour out yet another message from God of judgment, even though he knows no one will listen (10). It’s important to note verses 11 and 12 do not mean that the children and old are being targeted by God. Rather it is always the result of war that the weak suffer most; and this coming war is the result of Judah’s willful rebellion. They brought this on themselves and it pierces God’s heart (4:18).
The attitudes expressed in verses 10 and 14 are reflected in cultural trends of the 21st-century West. The idea of sin is thoroughly out of fashion—people are told they are essentially good, the “wound” is not so serious; they just need better self-esteem and the freedom to express themselves. But the reality is they are at enmity with God (Col. 1:21), and there is no peace without repentance. And just like the people of Judah, they’re not listening to God (10). Many of the values and ethics of the Bible are increasingly offensive to the modern ear. Not so long ago Christians were dismissed as do-gooders, but more and more we are seen as dangerous.
How do you feel about being a “stranger” (Phil. 3:18–21)? What issue tempts you to conform to the world’s ways? Find out what the Bible says about the issue—and obey!
Lord, I want to be set apart for You. Remind me that this world does not own my loyalty—You do.