Jeremiah 14

God will stop sending food and water and he will send wars.

1 This is what the Lord told Jeremiah. He said that he would stop sending rain.

2 ‘Judah's people are very sad. The people in their cities are tired.

They are sitting on the ground and they are crying.

Jerusalem's people are weeping.

3 Rich men send their servants for water.

But they do not find any water

in the big holes where they keep it.

They return with empty water jars.

Their trouble is great and they are sad.

They cover their heads.

4 The ground is breaking into pieces

because there has been no rain on the land.

The farmers are very upset.

They cover their heads with their hands.

14:4Men covered their heads to show that they were sad. They did it when a person died.

5 Mother animals let their new babies lie in the fields and they will leave them

because the grass is dead.

6 Wild horses stand on the empty hills and they are breathing very fast.

They cannot see well because they do not have any food.’

7 We know that we have done many bad things.

But please help us, Lord.

People will give honour to you if you will help us.

We have been backsliding people many times.

We have not obeyed your laws.

8 We trust you. Israel's people trust you.

You saved us from our troubles.

But now you are like a foreigner.

You are like a visitor who stays for only one night.

9 You are like a man who is surprised.

He is surprised when enemies make him a prisoner.

Yes, you are like a soldier who cannot save anyone.

You are among us, Lord.

People call us by your name.

Do not leave us alone!

10 ‘This people love to go away from me.

They let their feet go anywhere that they like.

So they cannot please the Lord.

Now he will remember the bad things that they have done.

And he will punish them for their sins.’

That is what the Lord says.

11 The Lord spoke to me again. ‘Do not pray that I will do good things for this people. 12 Even if they stop eating food, I will not listen to them. If they burn meat and seeds to offer to me, I will not accept their gifts. Instead, I will kill them. They will not have any food. Or they will become ill and they will die. I will send men to kill some of them,’ the Lord said to me.

13 ‘Lord, ruler of all, the prophets say other things,’ I said. ‘They say that soldiers will not kill the people. They do not believe that they will not have any food. The prophets say that they will not have any troubles. They say that their peace will continue.’

14 ‘The prophets are saying what is not true,’ the Lord said to me. ‘And they said that I had said it. I did not send them. And I did not give my authority to them. I did not speak to them. Their words are false. They are telling to you prophecies and pictures that their own minds have made. They worship false gods. 15 So this is what the Lord says about these prophets. “I did not send them. But they are saying that I have spoken to them.” They say, “Enemies will not kill anyone in this country. Nobody will die because they do not have any food.” But I say, “Those same prophets will not have any food and they will die. Or soldiers will kill them. 16 And men will throw the people that listened to them into the streets of Jerusalem. They will die because they do not have any food. Or they may die because soldiers will kill them. Nobody will bury the dead people. They and their dead wives, sons and daughters will lie in the street. I will punish them because they did not obey me.” ’

17 Say this to them.

‘Water runs from my eyes

all day and all night and it does not stop.

I am crying because a heavy weapon has broken my own people.

They have a very bad illness.

18 I see dead people

when I go into the country.

Soldiers have killed them.

In the city, I see dead people.

They died because they did not have any food.

Both prophets and priests

have gone to a place that they never knew.’

Jeremiah asks the Lord to save his people.

19 I cannot believe that you have completely turned away from Judah.

I cannot believe that you hate Zion.

You have hurt us so much

that nobody can make us well again.

We trusted you to save us from trouble.

But you have not done anything good for us.

We trusted you to make us well.

But we are only very afraid.

20 Lord, we agree that we have done many bad things.

We remember, too, the bad things that our ancestors did.

We have not obeyed you, and we have hurt you.

21 We are bad. So people may think that you are bad because of that.

We do not want that.

We want people to give honour to you.

Remember that you promised something to us.

Please do what you promised to do.

22 Gods that men made from wood and stone belong to other countries.

They cannot bring rain.

The sky itself does not make rain.

No, you our Lord, our God,

you bring rain.

Only you can do all these things.

So we hope that you will help us.