God tells Jeremiah not to marry or have a family bc things are about to get ugly. He also says don’t mourn for the ones who die bc they will die as a result of their great sins and unrepentant hearts. However, the Lord is sending some into captivity and one day He will bring them back to their land.
But Judah just continues on in their sins. God rebukes them for trusting in themselves instead of the Lord. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength.” “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord.” God goes on to say, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
As a potter shapes clay, so the Lord shapes the nations according to His divine purposes. If He speaks to destroy a nation and the nation repents, then He will relent of the disaster He was going to bring. If He speaks to build up a nation and the nation turns to evil then He will relent of the good He was going to bring. Therefore the Lord tells Jeremiah to tell the people to, “Return now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.” “And they said, ‘That is hopeless! So we will walk according to our own plans, and we will every one obey the dictates of his evil heart.’” The people are right. Apart from the Lord it is hopeless.
Later in the Story the disciples will ask Jesus, “Who then can be saved?” and Jesus will say, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:25-26). And Paul will tell us that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We are all in desperate need of a Savior and the Lord knows this. That is why He is working His plan to send Jesus who is, “Able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
We end the reading with Jeremiah commanding the Rechabites, a clan of Judah, to drink wine but they refuse bc their earthly father, Jonadab, forbidden it. The Lord uses this example to rebuke the people of Judah. This clan obeys their earthly father but the people of Judah refuse to obey their Heavenly Father, the God of Creation. The Lord then tells the Rechabites that since they obeyed their father, Jonadab, they, “Shall not lack a man to stand before Me forever.”
Tomorrow Judah gets a new king so keep reading.
(Jeremiah 16:1-18:23, Jeremiah 35:1-19)