Jeremiah 14

1This is the Lord’s message to Jeremiah about the drought: 2“The nation of Judah cries for people that have died. The people in the cities of Judah grow weaker and weaker. Those people lie on the ground. People in Jerusalem cry to God for help. 3The leaders of the people send their servants to get water. The servants go to the water storage places, but they don’t find any water. The servants come back with empty jars. So they are ashamed and embarrassed. They cover their heads from shame. 4No person prepares the ground for crops. No rain falls on the land. The farmers are depressed. So they cover their heads from shame. 5Even the mother deer in the field leaves her newborn baby alone. She does this because there is no grass. 6Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills. They sniff the wind like jackals. But their eyes can’t find any food, because there are no plants to eat. 7“We know that those things are our fault. We are now suffering because of our sins. Lord, do something to help us for the good of your name. We admit that we left you many times. We have sinned against you. 8God, you are the Hope of Israel! You save Israel in times of trouble. But now it seems like you are a stranger in the land. It seems like you are a traveler that only stays one night. 9You seem like a man that has been attacked by surprise. You seem like a soldier that does not have the power to save anyone. But Lord, you are with us. We are called by your name, So don’t leave us without help!” 10This is what the Lord says about the people of Judah: “The people of Judah really love to leave me. Those people don’t stop themselves from leaving me. So now, the Lord will not accept them. Now the Lord will remember the bad things they do. The Lord will punish them for their sins.” 11Then the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, don’t pray for good things to happen to the people of Judah. 12The people of Judah might begin to fast ˻and pray to me˼. But I will not listen to their prayers. Even if they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings to me, I will not accept those people. I will destroy the people of Judah with war. I will take away their food, and the people of Judah will starve. And I will destroy them with terrible diseases.” 13But I said to the Lord, “Lord, my Master, the prophets were telling the people something different. They were telling the people of Judah, 'You people will not suffer from an enemy’s sword. You will never suffer from hunger. The Lord will give you peace in this land.’” 14Then the Lord said to me, “Jeremiah, those prophets are preaching lies in my name. I did not send those prophets. I did not command them or speak to them. Those prophets have been preaching false visions, worthless magic, and their own wishful thinking. 15So this is what I say about the prophets that are preaching in my name. I did not send those prophets. Those prophets said, 'No enemy with swords will ever attack this country. There will never be hunger in this land.’ Those prophets will die from hunger and an enemy’s sword will kill them. 16And the people those prophets spoke to will be thrown into the streets. Those people will die from hunger and from an enemy’s sword. No person will be there to bury those people, or their wives or their sons or daughters. I will punish them. 17“Jeremiah, speak this message to the people of Judah: 'My eyes are filled with tears. I will cry night and day without stopping. I will cry for my virgin daughter. I will cry for my people. Why? Because someone hit them and crushed them. They have been hurt very badly. 18If I go into the country, I see the people that were killed with swords. If I go into the city, I see much sickness, because the people have no food. The priests and the prophets have been taken away to a foreign land.’” 19“Lord, have you completely rejected the nation of Judah? Lord, do you hate Zion? You hurt us so badly that we can’t be made well again. Why did you do that? We were hoping for peace, but nothing good has come. We were hoping for a time of healing, but only terror came. 20Lord, we know that we are evil people. We know that our ancestors did bad things. Yes, we sinned against you. 21Lord, for the good of your name, don’t push us away. Don’t take away the honor from your glorious throne. Remember your Agreement with us. Don’t break that Agreement. 22Foreign idols don’t have the power to bring rain. The sky does not have the power to send showers of rain down. You are our only hope. You are the One who made all these things.”

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