In Jeremiah 1:1 we find him in such agony for his people he wishes he could cry away the pain of watching Judah and its people dissolve into nothingness; to personally disappear into the wilderness. Somewhat similar to the Ostrich hiding its’ head in the sand. But, he can’t as he is called of God to point out these evils and foretell of the impending captivity by the Babylonians. The punishment is coming and Jeremiah agonizes over it. He knows, but his people deny. Jeremiah suggests there is more peace and safety living among the wild beast of the forests and wilderness.
The Tribe of Judah and its entire leadership from the king down to the head of each family clan is in total denial. As we discussed in the Jeremiah 8 website article, they are in such denial they don’t even realize it. To the people of Judah, from the highest officials to the local neighborhoods, people have come to believe that s/he is a better deceiver-liar therefore it is to her or his advantage to continue living such lives.
JIV NOTE: Remove the v from lives, as in victory, one ends up living lives [lies]. Hosea 4 is the brutal truth of what God sees in his people, especially with their priestly leadership. It is only 19 verses but well worth the quick read. It paints a vivid picture of what Jeremiah is discussing in Jeremiah 9. http://biblia.com/bible/esv/Hos%204.1-19
The reader should be reminded or note that the prophet Hosea lived during the time when the Northern Kingdom still existed, but…. What he said about the Kingdom of Israel to the north was about to happen to the Kingdom of Judah in the south but now through the prophecies of Jeremiah.
God warns through Jeremiah that neighbors should beware of each other; brothers should not trust the tongue of their own kindred; no one should trust the leadership of Judah. 9:1-8… http://www.biblestudytools.com/jeremiah/passage/?q=jeremiah+9:1-8
In Jeremiah 9:9 he gets very specific. He tells the evil priestly clans that God will not only punish the people of Judah, but He reserves a punishment for the priests. They have used the name of religion (not God) to commit all sorts of evils [v14].
9:16 is a reminder to those of Judah that the Lord has provided many times over for them, even when they were a nation and not a divided kingdom north and south. Even though Israel to the north is no more, Jeremiah combines their sinful ways with that of all 12 tribes. In a sense, this may be the same path Israel of today will follow in their denial of the true Messiah (Christ) and their God Jehovah.
Jeremiah 9:14 and 19 pretty much sums up the entire chapter: [ESV]
V14…My people are asking pieces of wood for advice. They think those sticks will answer them! They have chased after those false gods like prostitutes and have left their own God.
V19…They went to those gods for safety, and they have lost their ability to think. Their altars will bring them shame.
There is more news today about political leaders and businesses using deceptive advertising, politicians lying, cheating, living personal agenda driven lives, and calling wrong a political correctness okay or right of the individual than in previous history. This does not excuse the clergy either. Remember that Jeremiah points out that even the Levite priestly clans were doing the same thing. It is getting very difficult for a person to know who or what to trust.
Do not become overly concerned my friends. God can be trusted to keep His word and covenants. Fact is, He will fulfill each one with or without man doing his part. Israel and Judah had made gods to their liking. After all, if one can say that stone or stick idol told me it was okay, do this, do that, then the person is no longer to blame. It is that stick idol, right? It is amazing how the reader of this article probably gets it but the people of Israel and Judah did not.
There is an old saying, perhaps a proverb, that if one hangs around a fire too long, eventually s/he will get burned or become fuel for the fire. This is what is dreadfully wrong with the compromising church today. In order to “get along” with others, standards are compromised; doctrine is shallow; hope is in the masses not God; sin is only a perception of right and wrong; what counts is Political Correctness.