CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 4.
Jeremiah continues the message from the Lord, urging the people to repent. The Lord promises that if the people will stop sinning, remove the filth from the holy places, and return to Him, that He will establish them again and restore them to all He has to offer (verse 1). They will “swear”, or have temple ordinances and make covenants, that as they live in truth and according to His laws and so are made righteous, He will bless them with glory both temporally and spiritually (verse 2).
But the people must break old habits, let go of false traditions, and surrender bad practices. They cannot start a new life in the midst of their old life; they cannot plant “among thorns” (verse 3). They must set themselves apart physically (Aaronic) and spiritually (Melchizedek), by changing how they live and living according to the laws the Lord has set (verse 4). They must testify, gather together, and declare that this is what they are doing and that this is who they are – the people of the Lord (verse 5). They must live His standard and endure to the end if they want to avoid destruction (verse 6).
The Lord warns the people that destruction is already on the way (verse 7) because they have not yet repented (verse 8). The political and cultural leaders will be punished for leading the people away, and the false priests and fake prophets will be destroyed and in shock at how wrong they were (verse 9). While individuals themselves must repent, these priestcraft leaders will be held accountable for further deceiving the people and for making it easy for them to continue sinning (verse 10). When this happens, their false gods and priestcraft will have no power to save any of them, not even to bring relief from the destruction (verse 11). All of them will be held accountable to God for what they have done (verse 12).
And their day of destruction was coming soon, and quickly (verse 13).
Our day of destruction is coming soon, and quickly.
Yes still, He wants to deliver us and waits for us to turn to Him. He wants to cleanse us and rescue us and heal us (verse 14). He has sent prophets to warn us, explain to us, and comfort those who do turn to Him (verse 15). The prophets will testify against those who would not listen, and will declare that destruction is imminent (verse 16). The people have been rebellious (verse 17), and these are the consequences they have chosen (verse 18).
This grieves the Lord! It makes Him cry out and plead with us, sending prophets to warn us and urge us to turn to Him so He can help (verse 19). We are His children, claimed by His atonement, for the purpose of bringing us back to our Heavenly Parents, and everything is ruined without our deliverance (verse 20). He delays as long as He can, sending prophets calling us home to Him (verse 21). But we do not listen (verse 22):
For my people (are) foolish,
they have not known me;
they are sottish children,
and they have none understanding:
they are wise to do evil,
but to do good they have no knowlege.
The Lord created this earth, and remembers when it was not yet formed (verse 23). He remembers creating the mountains (verse 24), seeing the birds and animals before people were on the Earth (verse 25). The whole purpose of creating the Earth was that we might come here and live, proving ourselves as Heavenly Father’s children, and if we do not accomplish this then all of it is wasted (verse 26; see also Malachi 4:6 and JSH 1:38-39). With the earth being wasted, then all the Savior has done – from creation to the atonement, and even the resurrection that we would live forever in our sins instead of a higher state and better quality of eternity – all He has done would be for nothing (verse 27). The earth itself would mourn, for her enduring through what we have done would have been for nothing (verse 28).
But He will not let this happen, and He will do what He promised to do, even if that means destroying what is not-of-God so that what is-of-God (who is-of-God) may thrive and fulfill their purpose. This destruction will be so severe for those against God that they will try to hide from Him (verse 29). He compares this to how people try these days to hide their shame behind illusions of wealth and power (verse 30).
The Lord created this Earth and rescued all of us for the purpose of bringing us home to our Father as promised, and He will let nothing – no one – interfere with that plan (verse 31). We can either be one of the ones He brings with Him, or we can stand in His way and be destroyed. He wants – hopes for – pleads for each of us to choose Him, to remember our Father’s plan, and to join Him in safety.