CLICK HERE to read Jeremiah 16.
Jeremiah begins this chapter by sharing more instruction from the Lord (verse 1). The Lord tells Him that this is not the place for a wife or children, because there are no people of the covenant here (verse 2). He says that families in this place (verse 3) will endure hard things, even death, with no one to mourn them or even bury them because of war (verse 4). The Lord says that while this is very sad, not to grieve them as if they have been mistreated because they are the consequences they have chosen (verse 5).
The people have themselves chosen destruction over peace, even passing on destruction to their children (verse 6). No one will mourn for them or pity them because everyone knows that this is what these wicked people have chosen (verse 7). While the people are famous now for their parties and perverted ordinances, soon no one will celebrate with them when their consequences have arrived (verse 8).
The Lord tells Jeremiah that this will happen in his own lifetime, that he will witness the silencing of the church because the people have rejected the Lord and so lost the priesthood (verse 9). They have chosen apostasy, and surrendered the happiness and peace that comes from being at-one with God.
The Lord tells Jeremiah that he will show these writings to the people, and they will be confused (verse 10). They won’t understand why God has said such things against them because they do not understand that they have sinned. They have grown so hard against Him, and so long-ignored the prophets, and so delayed their repentance, that they can no longer remember why it is necessary or good for them.
The Lord tells Jeremiah that when they say this, he is to tell them it is because their ancestors have forsaken the Lord. When false traditions get passed down, the new generation no longer understands what they are choosing. Jeremiah is to explain what the people have done wrong, so that they have opportunity to repent and so they cannot say they have not been warned (verse 11). This is part of the Lord keeping His part of the covenant to bless their prosperity, by calling even those who do not know better (and those who do) back to Him through the prophets (verse 12). This is also the final warning, as the Lord explains why the people are going to be conquered and scattered (verse 13).
The Lord says their destruction will be so complete that people won’t remember anymore how He delivered the Israelites out of Egypt (verse 14), and instead will only remember how the Israelites chose to be destroyed instead of protected (verse 15). Even then the Lord will be faithful to His covenants, sending prophets and missionaries so that all the people will have opportunity to turn to the Lord and ask for His help (verse 16). Repentance must be a part of their sincere turning to Him, though, because He knows what their sins have been (verse 17). If they turn to Him, He will forgive them. If they will not, they will receive double the consequence as punishment because they knew better (verse 18).
Jeremiah replies to the Lord, whom He knows is the source of His strength and comfort and protection and provision, and says that surely the people will see this is best for them (verse 19). Surely the people, when they understand all these things, will see how their ancestors passed down pieces of the truth instead of the full gospel, and they will turn to the Lord to ask what is true and submit to His ways for them via His ordinances through His priesthood. The prophet talks to the Lord, saying that surely people would not live falsely if they knew better, and surely they would choose to rely on a living God rather than a false god they made themselves (verse 20).
It is because of the prophet’s faith in the Lord’s ability to save the people, and his confidence in the people’s willingness to respond to the truth, that Jeremiah agrees to say what the Lord has commanded (verse 21). The Lord promises that Jeremiah is right, and that He can rescue the people if they will simply seek out the truth.
I will cause them to know…
they shall know my name is The Lord.