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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 2:26-37 (ESV)

Posted on June 13, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 2:26-37 (ESV) - “As a thief is shamed when caught,
    so the house of Israel shall be shamed:
they, their kings, their officials,
    their priests, and their prophets,
who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,’
    and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
For they have turned their back to me,
    and not their face.
But in the time of their trouble they say,
    ‘Arise and save us!’
But where are your gods
    that you made for yourself?
Let them arise, if they can save you,
    in your time of trouble;
for as many as your cities
    are your gods, O Judah.

“Why do you contend with me?
    You have all transgressed against me,
declares the LORD.
In vain have I struck your children;
    they took no correction;
your own sword devoured your prophets
    like a ravening lion.
And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD.
Have I been a wilderness to Israel,
    or a land of thick darkness?
Why then do my people say, ‘We are free,
    we will come no more to you’?
Can a virgin forget her ornaments,
    or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me
    days without number.

“How well you direct your course
    to seek love!
So that even to wicked women
    you have taught your ways.
Also on your skirts is found
    the lifeblood of the guiltless poor;
you did not find them breaking in.
    Yet in spite of all these things
you say, ‘I am innocent;
    surely his anger has turned from me.’
Behold, I will bring you to judgment
    for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’
How much you go about,
    changing your way!
You shall be put to shame by Egypt
    as you were put to shame by Assyria.
From it too you will come away
    with your hands on your head,
for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust,
    and you will not prosper by them.

Question to consider: What did the LORD mean when He said Judah called a tree their father?

Even though the LORD had set them free from slavery in Egypt, Israel would rather return to Egypt for help from their enemies than turn back to the LORD in repentance. Judah would be shamed by Egypt in the same way the Northern kingdom of Israel was shamed by the Assyrians, for Egypt would abandon them against the Babylonians leaving the city of Jerusalem to be destroyed, and the people were either killed or without a home.

The tree and stone which they called father and believed to be born were the high places of Baal, Asherah poles, and various other altars and idols which were scattered throughout the once holy city of Jerusalem. We often hear people proclaim that God has turned His back on them, but the true description given by Jeremiah was that the people turned their back to God. When we are seeking to do what the LORD commands, we experience the face or countenance of the LORD. However, in our sin, we turn our backs to God and pretend that He can’t see us like a toddler who puts his hands in front of his eyes and thinks he’s invisible.

In Judah’s time of trouble, they would call out to the LORD to save them, but the LORD let them call upon their "gods" to be saved. He had attempted to correct them, but they were not willing to receive His correction. He sent them prophets, but they turned against them and treated God as if He were someone from whom they needed to be set free rather than the One who gave them freedom.

It was bad enough that they had broken the first table of the Law in worshiping other gods, but they also violated the second table of the Law in shedding innocent blood and favoring the rich. They faced judgment because they sinned with impunity. It is a great delusion that deceives people who profess that they can perform every kind of evil and still consider themselves righteous.

Of course, today people may call someone evil for preaching the things of God because we live at a time in which society calls good “evil” and evil “good”. Judah would put their trust in people in whom they would not prosper. Today, people put their trust in social media and trade truth for an emotional experience. It is really hard to read through these judgments against Judah and not see them as applicable to us today.


Dear heavenly Father, please open our eyes to how far short we have fallen from Your goodness and help us to turn to You while there is still time. May we have true wisdom that exalts the name of Christ above every name. Amen.