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©Michael Player

Chapter 2:1-8 (ESV)

Posted on June 10, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 2:1-8 (ESV) - The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD,

“I remember the devotion of your youth,
    your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
    in a land not sown.
Israel was holy to the LORD,
    the firstfruits of his harvest.
All who ate of it incurred guilt;
    disaster came upon them,
declares the LORD.”

Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the LORD:

“What wrong did your fathers find in me
    that they went far from me,
and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?
They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD
    who brought us up from the land of Egypt,
who led us in the wilderness,
    in a land of deserts and pits,
in a land of drought and deep darkness,
    in a land that none passes through,
    where no man dwells?’
And I brought you into a plentiful land
    to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in, you defiled my land
    and made my heritage an abomination.
The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?’
    Those who handle the law did not know me;
the shepherds transgressed against me;
    the prophets prophesied by Baal
    and went after things that do not profit.

Question to consider: When is it good to be jealous?

When Moses renewed the covenant with a generation who followed the LORD in the wilderness and received the land by faith, he warned them that this day would come, “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.” (Deuteronomy 6:10-15)

We consider wrath and jealousy to be poor traits in a spouse, but this is because people do them in an unrighteous manner. The LORD’s jealousy was not born out of a bruised ego or a false sense of insecurity. The LORD loved His bride and would not share her with other “gods” who only meant her harm. The LORD’s wrath was necessary to cut away the cancerous sin that was consuming His bride.

Beyond the jealousy and wrath described by Moses, the word of the LORD to Jeremiah showed the deep hurt that Israel had caused Him. He had loved and blessed them beyond anyone’s desire or imagination, and instead of teaching the nations to fear and love Him, they defiled His land with foreign gods and made the name of the LORD a curse and His heritage an abomination. This can be compared to a woman who marries a man solely for his money, and even though he cherishes her, she does nothing but cheat on him and treat him with contempt. The prophet, Hosea, experienced a real-life illustration of this.

The priests were supposed to be the mediators between the LORD and the people, and yet they had no desire to seek Him. The shepherds (pastors) were supposed to rightly handle the law as they led the people to walk with the LORD, and yet they had no desire to even know Him. The prophets were to seek the word of the LORD and present it in its purity to the people, and yet they sought the counsel of Baal. The prophets went after unprofitable things.

As heartbreaking as today’s passage is, I think it’s fitting to offer the reminder that there was always a remnant who repented for the people of Israel, and the LORD’s mercy renewed them time and again for generations until the Son of God became incarnate to be our true priest and mediator. He is the Good Shepherd who knows and walks with the Father and leads us to do the same. He is the pure word of the LORD who has clothed us with His righteousness and has given us a pure inheritance. And we are His spotless bride who will dwell with Him forever.


Dear heavenly Father, You are full of grace and mercy while we continue to sin against You in the things we think, say and do, and the things that  we fail to do. Help us to see the depths of our sin so that we may cling ever tighter to the righteousness of Christ and find our rest and peace in Him. Amen.