Jeremiah 14

Famine and wars

1 This is the Lord's message that he gave to Jeremiah about the famine:

2 ‘Judah's people are very sad and upset.

The people in Judah's cities are becoming weak.

They are sitting on the ground and they are weeping.

Jerusalem's people call to me for help.

3 Rich people send their servants to get water.

They go to the wells, but they do not find any water.

They return home with empty water jars.

They are ashamed and upset.

They hide their faces in their hands.

4 There has been no rain anywhere.

The ground is breaking apart.

The farmers too are very upset.

They hide their faces in their hands.

5 There is no grass in the fields for the deer to eat.

So the mother deer runs away from her new baby.

6 Wild donkeys stand on the empty hills.

They breathe very fast, like thirsty jackals.

Their eyes hurt as they look for grass,

but there is no food for them to eat.’

7 ‘Lord, our many sins show that we are guilty.

14:7This part tells us what the people are saying, or what Jeremiah is saying on their behalf.

But please help us, to show that you are our God.

We have turned away from you many times.

We have done bad things against you.

8 You are the one that we Israelites hope to give us help.

You are the one who saves us when we are in trouble.

But now you live among us like a foreigner.

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

9 You seem to be like a helpless person.

You are like a brave fighter who has lost his strength to save anyone.

But surely you are among us, Lord.

We belong to you as your own people.

Do not leave us alone!’

10 The Lord says this about his people:

‘These people love to go wherever they want.

They do not try to stay near to me.

So they do not please me.

Now I will remember the wrong things that they have done.

I will punish them for their sins.’

The lies of the false prophets

11 The Lord said to me, ‘Do not pray that I will do any more good things for these people. 12 Even if they fast, I will not listen when they ask me for help. I will not accept the burnt offerings or grain offerings that they offer to me. Instead, I will use war, famine and disease to destroy them.’

13 I said, ‘Lord God, the prophets are deceiving the people. They say that there will not be any war or famine or disease that will hurt the people. Instead, they say that you have promised peace in our land.’

14 The Lord said to me, ‘Those prophets say that they speak my messages, but they are telling lies. I did not send them. I did not give them my authority. I did not give them any messages. They are deceiving people with the visions that they talk about. When they prophesy about things, it means nothing. They only speak about their own foolish ideas. 15 They claim to speak with my authority, but I did not send them. They say that there will be no war or famine. So I tell you, this is what will happen to those prophets: War and famine will kill them. 16 And the people that they are speaking their messages to will also die because of war and famine. Their bodies will lie in Jerusalem's streets. Nobody will be there to bury them. This will happen to the men, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will punish them as they deserve, because they are so wicked.

17 Say this to the people, Jeremiah:

Tears pour from my eyes all the time.

I weep through each day and each night.

I am sad about my own dear people.

A great trouble has knocked them to the ground.

They have received a very bad wound.

18 When I go out into the fields,

I see the bodies of people who have died in war.

When I look in the city,

I see people who are dying from famine.

The prophets and the priests are busy with their work.

But they do not understand what is happening.” ’

A prayer that the Lord would save his people

14:19This prayer may be the words of the people or the words of Jeremiah.

19 ‘Lord, have you completely turned away from the people of Judah?

Do you really hate the people of Zion?

You have knocked us down

so that we will never get better.

We hoped to live in peace,

but nothing good happened to us.

We hoped to have rest from our troubles,

but instead we live in fear.

20 Lord, we agree that we are wicked people.

Our ancestors also did bad things.

We have turned against you.

21 But please do not refuse to help us.

Show that you are a faithful God.

Jerusalem is the place where you have your beautiful throne.

So do not go away and leave us.

Remember the covenant that you made with us.

Please do what you promised to do for us.

22 The idols of other nations are useless.

None of them can cause rain to fall.

And the sky itself does not make rain.

No, it is you, Lord, our God, who sends rain.

You alone do all these things,

so we trust you to help us.’