Jeremiah 13:15-27

Jeremiah warns the people of Judah

15 ‘Listen carefully to me.

Do not be too proud to listen!

The Lord has spoken to you.

16 Give honour to the Lord your God,

before it is too late.

Do it before he makes everywhere become dark.

Then you will fall down,

like someone who walks on the mountains at night.

You may hope for light to come,

but God will make it completely dark.

13:16They will hope for God to come and rescue them, but he will send them away into exile.

17 If you refuse to listen to God's message,

I will hide myself and I will weep.

Because you are so proud,

tears will pour from my eyes.

I will cry because the Lord has sent his own people away

as prisoners to a foreign land.

18 Tell the king and his mother,

“Come down from your thrones.

Your beautiful crowns will soon fall from your heads.”

13:18This means that they will not continue to rule the people.

19 The cities in the south of Judah will keep their gates shut.

Nobody will go in or out of the cities.

Enemies will take the people of Judah away as prisoners.

They will take them all into exile.

20 Leaders of Jerusalem, look up!

See the enemy that is coming from the north.

What has happened to your people?

You were proud of them

and you should have taken care of them.

You are like shepherds who have lost their sheep.

21 The Lord will choose other people to rule over you.

They are people that you wanted to be your friends,

but now they will have power over you.

So what will you say about that?

You will be afraid and in much pain,

like a woman who is giving birth to a baby.

22 You may ask,

“Why are these things happening to me?”

It is because of your many terrible sins.

Like an adulteress, they have torn off your dress

to make you ashamed.

23 You have done evil things for a long time.

So you cannot now start to do good things.

Can anyone change the colour of his skin?

Can a leopard remove the marks on its body?

No! And you cannot change yourselves either.’

24 The Lord says,

‘I will blow you away,

as a hot desert wind blows away straw.

25 That is how I have decided to punish you.

It is what you deserve

because you have forgotten me.

You have trusted in false gods.

26 So I will cause you to be very ashamed,

like a woman whose dress they have removed.

27 People of Jerusalem,

you are in terrible trouble!

I have seen the disgusting things that you do.

You are like a woman who has not been faithful to her husband.

Like a prostitute, you look for other gods to serve.

You cannot control yourselves,

as you do disgusting things on the hills and in the fields.

Will you never be clean and pure again?’

13:27Jeremiah is telling the people in Jerusalem that God will use their enemies to punish them. God sees all the wrong things that they are doing. He knows that they do not respect him.