Jeremiah 2:31-3:5

God will punish Judah.

31 ‘Think about my message, you people who are alive today,’ says the Lord.

‘I have not been like a desert where nothing grows.

I have not been like a dark place where nobody lives.

But my people say, “We can go where we like.

We do not want to visit you any more.”

32 A young woman does not forget her pretty things.

A wife does not forget her valuable gifts.

But my people have forgotten me for many years.

33 You are so clever. You can always find love!

Very bad women, even, can learn from you.

34 Your clothes have blood on them.

That blood gave life to people who never hurt you.

It was the blood of people who never took your things.

35 But still you say, “I have not done anything that is wrong.

God is not angry with me!”

But I will judge you.

You say “I have not sinned.”

So I will judge you.

36 You look at nations who live near to you.

You want to change.

You know now that Assyria cannot help you.

And you will soon know that Egypt cannot help you.

37 You will become slaves.

You will leave your country with your hands on your heads.

The Lord has not chosen the people that you have chosen.

They will not help you.’

Jeremiah 3

1 ‘A man may send his wife away.

Then she may leave him and marry another man.

If her first husband returned to her, he would not be clean.

He would make the whole country bad.

But you have lived with many lovers.

And you want to return to me,’ says the Lord.

2 ‘Look at the tops of the hills.

You have loved other gods on all of them.

You sat by the side of the road, waiting for lovers.

You waited to catch men.

You have made the country bad.

It is dirty with all the wrong things that you have done.

You have loved other gods when you should have loved me.

3 That is why I have not sent any rain to you.

And that is why the spring rains have not come.

But you are still proud.

You are not ashamed of the bad things that you have done.

4 You say to me, “You have been my friend, who has loved me all my life.

5 Surely you cannot be angry with me!

You cannot always be angry.”

Those are the things that you say.

But you do as many wrong things as you can.’