The Day of Disaster
1Then the Lord spoke his word to me: 2“You must not get married. You must not have sons or daughters in this place.”
3The Lord says this about the sons and daughters born in this land. And he says this about the mothers and fathers of those children: 4“They will die of terrible diseases. No one will cry for them. No one will bury them. Their bodies will lie on the ground like dung. They will die in war, or they will starve to death. Their dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky. And they will be food for the wild animals.”
5So this is what the Lord says: “Jeremiah, do not go into a house where there is a funeral meal. Do not go there to cry for the dead or to show your sorrow. Do not do this because I have taken back my blessing, my love and my pity from these people,” says the Lord. 6“Important people and common people will die in the land of Judah. No one will bury them or cry for them. No one will cut himself for them. And no one will shave his head to show sorrow for them. 7No one will bring food to the people who are crying for the dead. No one will comfort one whose mother or father has died. No one will offer a drink to comfort them.
8“Do not go into a house where the people are having a feast. Do not go there and sit down to eat and drink. 9This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies, the God of Israel, says: I will soon stop the sounds of joy and gladness in this place! I will stop the happy sounds of brides and bridegrooms! This will happen during your lifetime.
10“You will tell the people of Judah these things. And they will ask you, ‘Why has the Lord said these terrible things to us? What have we done wrong? What sin have we done against the Lord our God?’
11“Then say to them: ‘This is because your ancestors quit following me,’ says the Lord. ‘And they began to follow other gods. They served and worshiped other gods. Your ancestors left me. And they quit obeying my teaching. 12But you have done even more evil than your ancestors. You are very stubborn. You do only what you want to do. You have not obeyed me. 13So I will throw you out of this country. You will go to a land that you and your ancestors never knew. There you can serve false gods day and night. I will not help you or show you any favors.’
14“People say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel out of Egypt . . .’ But the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when people will not say this anymore. 15They will say instead, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites from the northern land and from all the countries where he had sent them . . .’ And I will bring them back to the land I gave to their ancestors.
16“I will soon send for many fishermen to come to this land,” says the Lord. “The fishermen will catch the people of Judah. After that, I will send for many hunters to come to this land. Those hunters will hunt the people of Judah on every mountain and hill. And they will hunt Judah in the cracks of the rocks. 17I see everything they do. They cannot hide the things they do from me. Their sin is not hidden from my eyes! 18I will pay back the people of Judah for the evil they have done. I will punish them two times for every one of their sins. I will do this because they have made my land unclean. They have done it with their hated idols. They have filled my country with them!”
19Lord, you are my strength and my protection.
You are a safe place for me to run to in times of trouble.
The nations will come to you from all over the world.
They will say, “Our fathers had only false gods.
They worshiped useless idols that didn’t help them.
20Can people make gods for themselves?
They will not really be gods!”
21The Lord says, “So I will teach those who make idols.
Right now I will teach them
about my power and my strength.
Then they will know
that my name is the Lord.