This is Yahweh’s word that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought.
and its gates languish.
They sit in black on the ground.
The cry of Jerusalem goes up.
Their nobles send their little ones to the waters.
They come to the cisterns,
and find no water.
They return with their vessels empty.
They are disappointed and confounded,
and cover their heads.
Because of the ground which is cracked,
because no rain has been in the land,
the plowmen are disappointed.
They cover their heads.
Yes, the doe in the field also calves and forsakes her young,
because there is no grass.
The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights.
They pant for air like jackals.
Their eyes fail,
because there is no vegetation.
Though our iniquities testify against us,
work for your name’s sake, Yahweh;
for our rebellions are many.
We have sinned against you.
You hope of Israel,
its Savior in the time of trouble,
why should you be as a foreigner in the land,
and as a wayfaring man who turns aside to stay for a night?
Why should you be like a scared man,
as a mighty man who can’t save?
Yet you, Yahweh, are in the middle of us,
and we are called by your name.
Don’t leave us.
In this passage, we hear a complaint by Jeremiah about the conditions in Jerusalem. We read that God had sent a famine that was so bad that even the wild animals were dying. Jeremiah calls on God. He confesses Israel’s sin, recognizes that God is Israel’s Savior and asks Him not to leave them. We read God’s response in the next section. This was a horrible day for Israel, but in this passage we learn some very important things that our generation needs to keep in mind.
Do you think that if you work hard you will have a good economy and everything you need? This passage demonstrates that this is not true. The fact is that God must give us rain. In fact, He must give us everything that we will need to get wealth. Yes, we must apply our labor as well, but if it weren’t for God’s gifts, our labors would result in nothing. That’s what happened to Israel at this point. No matter how hard they worked, they couldn’t find water. No matter how well they plowed the field, nothing would grow. They probably couldn’t even hunt wild animals because they were sick and dying. Yes we need to work, but more importantly, we must trust in God to give us the ability to work productively.
This passage also demonstrates for us that God will allow those He loves to suffer because of sin. God allowed Israel to suffer even though He loved them so much. God also loved the animals, but God will allow animals that are under the care of man to suffer because of man! I am sure God hates this, but He has allowed it to occur and I believe it just adds to the failure of man. We are the sinners in this world and the animals were to be our responsibility. Jeremiah knew that God loved these wild animals and it could be that He purposefully brought it up to God because he knew that God loved them as well. Even so, Israel had sinned and God had to deal with it.