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Concerning the Dearth


This chapter deals with the dearth (v.1), or drought, that has come on Judah. The rain has ceased (v.4) and the wells of water have dried up (v.3). Both man (v.2) and beast (v.5-6) suffer. Jeremiah seeks relief from the suffering. He cries out, “O LORD, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake” (v.7). Surely God will hear these pleas for mercy in His name. Surely confession and prayer will bring deliverance as it always has in the past.

Yet, God refuses to help. He says, “Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore the LORD doth not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins” (v.10). For centuries, God has seen His people rebel and fall into sin. He has seen them suffer for their sin. He has heard their cry for deliverance and lifted them when they cried to Him. But now, their cries for help will go unheeded. He even says, “Pray not for this people for their good…I will not accept them: but I will consume them…” (v.11-12).


Jeremiah reminds the Lord of the prophets who prophesy peace. They say to Judah, “Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye see famine” (v.13). The Lord declares, “The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not” (v.14). These prophets who say there will be no sword or famine, by “sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed” (v.15).


Yet, Jeremiah promises to continue to plea for his people: “Let mine eyes run down with tears night and day, and let them not cease” (v.17). He continues to acknowledge “our wickedness, and the iniquity of our fathers” (v.20). He still cries, “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory” (v.21). Since there are none “among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain...therefore we will wait upon thee” (v.22).

We must all remember that the mercies of the Lord will not continue forever. If we continue to reject Him, there will be a day when He will not hear. Today is the day of salvation. Come to the Lord while there is still time. Yet, if He does not seem to hear, do not cease to call on Him. There is none other to whom we can go. We must wait upon Him. If we faithfully seek His face, He will again look to us in grace and mercy.