Jeremiah 4:3-18 (JDV)
Jeremiah 4:3 You see, this is what Yahveh says to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: Break up the unplowed ground; do not sow among the thorns.
Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to Yahveh; remove the foreskin of your hearts, men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. Otherwise, my wrath will break out like fire and burn with no one to extinguish it because of your evil deeds.
Jeremiah 4:5 Declare in Judah, proclaim in Jerusalem, and say: Blow the ram’s horn throughout the land. Cry out loudly and say: Assemble yourselves, and let’s flee to the fortified cities.
Jeremiah 4:6 Lift up a signal flag toward Zion. Run for cover! Don’t stand still! For I am bringing disaster from the north – a crushing blow.
Jeremiah 4:7 A lion has gone up from his thicket; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his lair to make your land a waste. Your cities will be reduced to uninhabited ruins.
Jeremiah 4:8 Because of this, put on sackcloth; mourn and wail, for Yahveh’s burning anger has not turned away from us.
Jeremiah 4:9 “On that day” – this is what Yahveh declares – “the king and the officials will lose their courage. The priests will tremble in fear, and the prophets will be scared speechless.”
Jeremiah 4:10 I said, “Oh no, Lord Yahveh, you have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, ‘You will have peace,’ while a sword is at our throats.”
Jeremiah 4:11 “At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, ‘A searing wind blows from the barren heights in the open country on the way to my dear people. It comes not to winnow or to sift;
Jeremiah 4:12 a wind too strong for this comes at my call. Now I will also pronounce judgments against them.'”
Jeremiah 4:13 Look, he advances like clouds; his chariots are like a storm. His horses are swifter than eagles. Tragedy1 to us, for we are ruined!
Jeremiah 4:14 Wash the evil from your heart, Jerusalem, so that you will be delivered. How long will you harbor malicious thoughts?
Jeremiah 4:15 For a voice announces from Dan, proclaiming malice from Mount Ephraim.
Jeremiah 4:16 Warn the nations: Look! Proclaim to Jerusalem: Those who besiege are coming from a distant land; they raise their voices against the cities of Judah.
Jeremiah 4:17 They have her surrounded like those who guard a field, because she has rebelled against me. this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 4:18 Your way and your actions have brought this on you. This is your punishment. It is very bitter, because it has reached your heart!
Rev. Joe Pritchett, of Garner NC says that this text speaks of a coming judgment of God upon his people:
“But as is always the case with our long-suffering God, even when judgment is about to fall, he continues to reach out his hand of grace and forgiveness for a heart that genuinely returns to him. The Lord makes it clear, however, that he is not interested in any half-hearted apologies. They must respond to the Lord in a “truthful, just and righteous way.” He goes on to explain that they are to circumcise (or consecrate) themselves to him, but not simply in a symbolic, fleshly fashion, instead it is to be a circumcision of their hearts.”2
Lord, we surrender our whole hearts – our whole lives to you.
1 אוֹי = tragedy. Jeremiah 4:13, 31; 6:4; 10:19; 13:27; 15:10; 45:3; 48:46.
2 Maranatha Daily Devotional “Truthful, Just and Righteous” Monday, November 2, 2015.