Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results


< Return to List

©John Yerkes

Chapter 5:7-17 (ESV)

Posted on July 05, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 5:7-17 (ESV) - “How can I pardon you?
    Your children have forsaken me
    and have sworn by those who are no gods.
When I fed them to the full,
    they committed adultery
    and trooped to the houses of whores.
They were well-fed, lusty stallions,
    each neighing for his neighbor's wife.
Shall I not punish them for these things?
declares the LORD;
    and shall I not avenge myself
    on a nation such as this?

“Go up through her vine rows and destroy,
    but make not a full end;
strip away her branches,
    for they are not the LORD's.
For the house of Israel and the house of Judah
    have been utterly treacherous to me,
declares the LORD.
They have spoken falsely of the LORD
    and have said, ‘He will do nothing;
no disaster will come upon us,
    nor shall we see sword or famine.
The prophets will become wind;
    the word is not in them.
Thus shall it be done to them!’”

Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts:
“Because you have spoken this word,
behold, I am making my words in your mouth a fire,
    and this people wood, and the fire shall consume them.
Behold, I am bringing against you
    a nation from afar, O house of Israel,
declares the LORD.
It is an enduring nation;
    it is an ancient nation,
a nation whose language you do not know,
    nor can you understand what they say.
Their quiver is like an open tomb;
    they are all mighty warriors.
They shall eat up your harvest and your food;
    they shall eat up your sons and your daughters;
they shall eat up your flocks and your herds;
    they shall eat up your vines and your fig trees;
your fortified cities in which you trust
    they shall beat down with the sword.”

Question to consider: What made Jeremiah’s words a fire and those of the other prophets in Judah wind?

In his discourse with the LORD, Jeremiah attempted to intercede for Judah. His world was upended because he heard from prophets who told the king and priests that Jerusalem was safe from judgment, and he grew up thinking that the only ones who transgressed the LORD in Judah were the poor. Hearing that those prophets had lied and that there was no one in Jerusalem who had an ounce of truth in them was shocking.

In today’s passage, the LORD continued along this vein. Moses warned Israel before they received the land not to forget or forsake the LORD when they came into flocks they did not raise, fields they did not cultivate, and cities they did not build. A generation which has lived in a luxury that they did not earn easily begins to take for granted and feel entitled to that which was given to them. In our sin, it is also easy for us to become dissatisfied with what the LORD has given us and covet the things of our neighbor.

The men of Judah forgot the God who had given them everything and gave themselves over to the gods of the nations to increase their prosperity and take exotic wives for themselves. The LORD compared this to stallions neighing for their neighbors’ wives.

The LORD would destroy what He had given them, and all but a remnant would be stripped from the holy line like dead branches from a vine. The false prophets would become wind because they professed to breathe out the word of God but instead spoke lies.

Because Jeremiah was willing to speak the true word of the LORD, his words would be like fire instead of wind. In this sense the wind does nothing and comes to nothing whereas Jeremiah’s words would bring judgment by way of the Babylonians who would completely consume and destroy the people, cattle, and harvests of Judah like an inferno. The land would become desolate for seventy years as a result.

As fearsome as the Babylonians may have been, it is worth noting that the LORD could have stopped this judgment from happening had Judah only repented of their sin. Josiah’s attempts at reform were not lasting, and so judgment came upon the next generation. Even so, the LORD used the Babylonians to sift through the people of Israel until there was left a remnant who desired to love and serve Him.

People today will judge the LORD for the evil in the world, but it is the LORD who has provided the means through which we can overcome the world. Thus the events of this world serve as a winnowing fork to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the end, the LORD will end up with a remnant of those who desire to love and serve Him eternally without sin.


Dear Lord, we praise and give You thanks for overcoming the world and clothing us in Your righteousness so that we may walk in newness of life and look forward to living eternally in Your kingdom in peace. Amen.