CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 6.
In this chapter, Jeremiah is specifically addressing the people of Jerusalem. He urges them to flee because their destruction is already on its way (verse 1). He compares Jerusalem to a well-bred daughter (verse 2) who is violated by shepherds (verse 3). It is a grotesque and shocking comparison, but one that is accurate and describes the severity of what the people have let happen to their holy places.
Because the people have destroyed the holy places and their own holiness, they will now be destroyed so that the Lord can restore holiness itself.
Jeremiah says the army coming against them is already prepared for war and on their way (verse 4), even traveling by night and having every intention of destroying the wealth, power, and holy places of Jerusalem (verse 5).
He declares that the Lord knows this is happening, and has declared that it must happen because these are the consequences the people have chosen (verse 6).
Just as the people rejected the Lord, so the Lord rejects their sin and does grieve the consequences they are about to receive (verse 7). He tries to teach them so they will not be destroyed completely (verse 8). He tells them that if they will repent, He can still gather them to safety (verse 9). But He cannot do so until they turn to Him, and He rebukes them for behaving like people outside the covenant who do not know better (verse 10). They do know better, and so the full consequences will be given them (verse 11).
Then Jeremiah declares the consequences specifically. Others will take over their homes, harvest their fields, and claim their wives (verse 12). The false priests will be dealt with in the same way they treated true prophets (verses 13). No help will come to them, because they called on false gods who can do nothing (verse 14). Because they were not ashamed and would not repent, the Lord cannot fight this battle for them as He has fought for them in the past (verse 15). Because they would not live His lives and so obtain peace and safety, now they will have no peace or safety (verse 16). Because they would not hearken to prophets, now foreigners will rule over them as oppressors (verse 17). These are the consequences they have chosen (verse 18).
Even the earth sees what the people have done upon it, rejecting His laws and setting up false gods and perverting temple ordinances (verse 19). These works of priestcrafts have no power to ask the Lord to help, and offend Him besides (verse 20). The people have become their own stumbling block, calling on false gods who are not real and have no power, ability, or capacity to do anything to help them (verse 21).
Now destruction comes, and the nation to deliver it is already on the way (verse 22). They are a rough and cruel nation, with no mercy, and prepared for war (verse 23). This is the natural consequence of the people having rejected the Savior’s offer of mercy, and so now being given only justice for what they have done. The army is famous for its violence and cruelty, so that the people will be afraid even before the army arrives (verse 24). There will be nowhere to escape (verse 25).
This is what the people have chosen.
But it is not what the Lord wants. He urges, even now, for the people to repent. He asks them to mourn for their sins, for betraying Him, and to turn to Him in prayer so that He can help them (verse 26). He reminds them that He established them as an example to all others, a stronghold of testimony by which everyone else could find their way (verse 27).
Yet instead of being a light for everyone else, they have stooped to the depraved level of those around them. Now that they have allowed themselves to become corrupted, they now also corrupt others (verse 28). Instead of testifying of the Savior, they lead people astray. This is the great betrayal they have done, and it is because of this that their destruction comes (verse 29). Because they have rejected the Lord, the Lord must reject their sin, and everyone on earth will know it (verse 30).