Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing

Part XXIX: God's Final Condemnation Of Irrevocably Unrepentant Judah

(Jeremiah 13:15-27)


I.                 Introduction

A.    God longs for sinners to repent, for He loves them and longs to save them, a truth that often shows up in Scripture passages like the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32.

B.     However, some sinners simply never repent, so they will be just as irrevocably punished by God. 

C.     Jeremiah 13:15-27 presents such a situation, so we view the passage for our insight and edification:

II.              God's Final Condemnation Of Irrevocably Unrepentant Judah, Jeremiah 13:15-27 NIV.

A.    Pride kept the people of Judah from repenting of their sin, so Jeremiah critiqued their pride, and He urged them to listen to his words, for the Lord had given him a message to speak to them, Jeremiah 13:15.

B.     Judah was to give glory to God, that is, humbly to confess her sin (cf. Joshua 7:19) before God brought the darkness of punishment and her feet stumbled on the darkening hills, pictures of judgment gloom, Jer. 13:16a.

C.     Though Judah's people hoped for light, a figurative reference of hope and blessing, God would turn what light they had into the thick darkness and deep gloom of judgment and a loss of God's blessing, Jeremiah 13:16b.

D.    If the people of Judah did not listen to him, Jeremiah said he would weep in secret since their pride had kept them from facing their sin and repenting to avoid traumatic suffering in the coming captivity, Jeremiah 13:17.

E.     Jeremiah 13:18-19 is a "lament over King Jehoiachin (then 18 years old) and the queen mother . . .  who were taken captive into Babylon (Jer. 29:2)," Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Jeremiah 13:18-19.  Their captivity that preceded the captivity of the rest of the nation "was a foretaste of Judah's judgment because the whole nation would be carried into exile," Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1147.

F.      Jeremiah then addressed Judah's leaders and their part that led to Judah's future judgment, Jeremiah 13:20-21:

1.      He called them to look to the north to see the invading Babylonians who would take captive the flock of people God had entrusted to their care, and over which they had sinfully boasted, Jeremiah 13:20. 

2.      He asked what would these leaders say when God set over them the Gentile nations they as leaders had cultivated as special, and claimed that pain would fiercely grip them like a woman in labor, Jer. 13:21.

G.    If Judah's leaders and people were then to ask why such a calamitous event had occurred, Jeremiah answered that it would be due to their many sins, Jeremiah 13:22a.  The tragic invasion events were then figuratively pictured as the horror of a woman having her clothing torn off and her body mistreated, Jeremiah 13:22b NIV.

H.    However, such trauma was unavoidable: just as the Ethiopian could not change his skin nor the leopard his spots, neither could Judah's people and leaders do good when they were accustomed to doing evil, Jer. 13:23.

I.        God would scatter the people of Judah like chaff driven by the desert wind, what was His decreed lot and portion for them, for they had forgotten the Lord and trusted in false gods, Jeremiah 13:24.

J.       In language that matched Judah's lewd, immoral conduct in idolatry (Ibid.), God claimed that He would pull up Judah's skirts over her face to expose her shameful nakedness, adulteries and lustful neighing like a horse in heat, her shameless lust and prostitution, Jeremiah 13:25-27a.

K.    God had witnessed the detestable acts of immorality in the pagan worship the people of Judah had practiced on the hills and in the fields of Judah, so there was only "woe" to the people of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 13:27b.

L.     Finally, God asked how long Judah would remain unclean as He longed for her to repent, Jeremiah 13:27c.


Lesson: Due to their pride, Judah's people and leaders not only refused to repent of their dreadfully wicked idolatry, but they were irrevocably committed to not repenting of their sin.  Accordingly, God's severe judgment would just as irrevocably fall on them regardless if Jeremiah and the Lord Himself still longed for them to repent.


Application: (1) If our pride keeps us from confessing our sin and turning from it, may we realize that the price we will pay in severe divine discipline will be dreadfully high so that we humble ourselves and confess our sins to the Lord for forgiveness.  (2) If we obey the Lord but we see others seemingly fixated on sinning, may we realize that some are so committed to their sins that they will no more repent than the Ethiopian or the leopard can change their skins, that God's punishment must then fall upon them.  (3) Though we must continue to love and appeal to such people as God and Jeremiah did to apostate Judah, we must withdraw fellowship with them to protect our own walk and stay effective in serving the Lord (2 Timothy 2:20-21).  (4) God then calls us to fellowship with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart for our own edification, 2 Timothy 2:22.