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Journey through Jeremiah: Jeremiah 14:19-22: Have you utterly rejected JUdah

Have You Utterly Rejected Judah

Read Jeremiah 14:19-22

It is only in God that healing is found. The question is asked by the people have you utterly rejected Judah, has your soul loathed Zion. The word loath means to abhor, loathe. To hate and reject someone or something. In the passive, it conveys the meaning “to be defiled.”[1] The people of Judah were rejected by the Lord because they defiled themselves with the worship of false gods. The Lord saw their hearts and their words were simply empty. They were simply giving God lip service because of the suffering they were experiencing. If the people truly desired to have peace and healing, it would require that they turn from their wicked ways and give their hearts fully to the Lord.

The people claim they have acknowledged their wickedness and the iniquity or sins of their fathers. It would seem in listening to them that they are contrite and truly sorry for what they have done in living in rebellion and rejecting God and His ways. But where the rubber meets the road is how they live. Their lives on a daily basis will reveal what is truly in their hearts. Mere words mean nothing when not followed by action.

The people of Israel appeal to the honor and glory of God’s name with this comment “Do not despise us, for the sake of Your own name; Do not disgrace the throne of Your glory”. They are appealing to the covenant that God established with Israel, but the problem is the people have failed to live according to it. They have failed to heed the word of the Lord and often instead persecuted and put to death the prophets of God who were His mouthpiece to the nation. Their sin has brought them to this place and now they appeal to the mercy of God, but instead of mercy they will receive correction. Israel at this point in its history needed a course correction because the roots of its wickedness has gone deep.

They ask the Lord not to annul His covenant with them. The word annul means break, destroy, suspend; foil, make useless[2]. God was not breaking His covenant, but instead He was upholding His covenant. God is true and therefore He will never act or do anything in a false way. He clearly laid out the terms of the covenant with Israel. Great blessing was found in simply living according to the covenant and living for God alone, but great pain and heartache would be encountered if they lived in rebellion. Sin has consequences and it is far easier to respond to the gentleness of God in the beginning then continuing to resist and it requires firm course correction. America could learn much from the history of Israel.

The people ask “are there any among the false gods who can bring rain, or can the heavens give showers”? They ask this as if they are pointing to the greatness of God. But it shows how foolish they truly are. They believe they can honor God with their lips and manipulate Him. But God sees their hearts. He sees how far their hearts are far from Him.

They claim to set their hope on the Lord because He is the one who brings the rain and brings the blessing. But it is a little too little, too late. It is important when God begins to speak to our heart about an issue that we surrender to His work and His conviction. In this life there is only one who can sit upon the throne of our lives. It will either be us or it will be God. The devil lies to us and tries to convince us that God simply desires to keep good things from us. But everything the devil offers us is based on a lie and in the end will destroy us. Our Father in Heaven loves us unconditionally. He wants the very best for us. When He tells us not to do something or to stay away from something, there is a reason. He is not a kill joy, He is a loving Father who not only desires the best for His children but also sees the danger that will be encountered if His word is rejected.

[1] Adam Robinson, “Abhorrence,” ed. Douglas Mangum et al., Lexham Theological Wordbook, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014). [2] Rick Brannan, ed., Lexham Research Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible, Lexham Research Lexicons (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2020).

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