Hear, and give ear.
Don’t be proud,
for Yahweh has spoken.
Give glory to Yahweh your God,
before he causes darkness,
and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains,
and while you look for light,
he turns it into the shadow of death,
and makes it deep darkness.
But if you will not hear it,
my soul will weep in secret for your pride.
My eye will weep bitterly,
and run down with tears,
because Yahweh’s flock has been taken captive.
Say to the king and to the queen mother,
Sit down, for your crowns have come down,
even the crown of your glory.
The cities of the South are shut up,
and there is no one to open them.
Judah is carried away captive: all of them.
They are wholly carried away captive.
Lift up your eyes,
and see those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given to you,
your beautiful flock?
Jeremiah is sometimes referred to as: “The Weeping Prophet.” Perhaps it’s because of what we read right here in this passage. Here, Jeremiah says that if the people won’t listen to God’s word and give Him the glory that He deserves, then his “soul will weep in secret” for their pride.
It’s interesting to me that what Jeremiah did in secret has become what he is known for. I think that this also is a demonstration of God’s feelings for Israel. God’s judgments are harsh and it would appear that He isn’t interested in Israel any more but I believe that, in secret, God is weeping as well. God uses prophets to express things to us using their lives as well as their words. We also know, from other passages we have read that even though God is upset because of Israel’s pride, He still intends to save the nation.
Jeremiah writes directly to the Israeli leadership here. He appeals to them to consider the fact that their people are like God’s sheep and that they will all be taken away. A kingdom isn’t worth anything without people, but more than that, the leadership should care. During their watch, the sheep are going to be stolen. It’s going to be a shame and a horror and it will demonstrate their lack of concern for God’s people.
Have you noticed that God is pretty much repeating the same things over and over again? Israel has no excuse now because God has made things very, very clear. People are not punished for what they don’t know. They are punished for what they do know and we can see that in action as we read God’s repeated warnings to Israel.