CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 9.
Jeremiah grieves the people choosing destruction, and grieves the loss of their privileges that they will not have to hand down to their children (verse 1). He says he would have rather been a prophet leading them through the wilderness so they could follow, than be calling out to them and they not listen (verse 2). Instead of performing ordinances, they are involved in priestcraft (verse 3). Instead of caring for each other, they are contentious and neglect one another (verse 4). Instead of testifying of the truth of the atonement, the people are choosing sin (verse 5). Instead of covenant keeping, their habits lead them away from God (verse 6). Since abandoning God, they are now also betraying each other (verse 8). This is the evidence against them that declares they have asked for consequences, because nothing else will remind them whose they are (verse 7).
The Lord must avenge these wrongdoings, for it is now the only way to call the people back to Him and remind them that He is God – the One who truly can save them (verse 9). Instead of temple worship with them, the Lord mourns their absence; instead of leading them through mortality (“wilderness”), the Lord watches them wander like escaped beasts (verse 10). They have turned from God, and invited destruction upon themselves. Instead of a holy place, their land will be desolation (verse 11).
The Lord pleads for any one of His people to be wise enough to hear His words, to respond to the prophets, to turn to Him that they may be rescued (verse 12). But the people do not obey Him and betray their covenants (verse 13), following their own philosophies and getting sucked into false traditions instead (verse 14). This is what they have said they wanted, and so the Lord will let them choose it (verse 15).
Because they have rejected their own gathering, they will be scattered (verse 16). They have not been faithful (verse 17), not even trying to give an illusion of repentance (verse 18). The people think they have done nothing wrong, and so have nothing to repent of – only complaining that these consequences are because they are spoiled (verse 19).
But the truth is that they have sinned, and they should be crying out to the Lord in repentance (verse 20). The consequences they have chosen have arrived, and families will be destroyed because of it (verse 21). Besides the physical scattering, there is no truth to hold generations together (verse 22). The people have been arrogant, selfish, and proud (verse 23), rather than wise and relying on the Lord who offers them “lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness” (verse 24). They have chosen punishment, and so the Lord must deliver it (verse 25), even though it grieves Him that His chosen people (who should know better) are behaving as people who do not know Him (verse 26).