ImmerseProphets - Page 261

J eremiah
You have been that way since childhood—
you simply will not obey me!
And now the wind will blow away your allies.
All your friends will be taken away as captives.
Surely then you will see your wickedness and be ashamed.
It may be nice to live in a beautiful palace
paneled with wood from the cedars of Lebanon,
but soon you will groan with pangs of anguish—
anguish like that of a woman in labor.
“As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “I will abandon you, Je­hoi­a­chin son
of Je­hoi­a­kim, king of Ju­dah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right
hand, I would pull you off. I will hand you over to those who seek to kill
you, those you so desperately fear—to King Neb­u­chad­nez­zar of Bab­ylon
and the mighty Bab­ylonian army. I will expel you and your mother from
this land, and you will die in a foreign country, not in your native land. You
will never again return to the land you yearn for.
“Why is this man Jehoiachin like a discarded, broken jar?
Why are he and his children to be exiled to a foreign land?
O earth, earth, earth!
Listen to this message from the Lord!
This is what the Lord says:
‘Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless.
He is a failure,
for none of his children will succeed him on the throne of David
to rule over Judah.’
“What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people—the shepherds of my
sheep—for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were
expected to care for,” says the Lord.
Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Is­ra­el, says to these shep­
herds: “Instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have
deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judg­
ment on you for the evil you have done to them. But I will gather together
the remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I
will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and
increase in number. Then I will appoint re­spon­si­ble shepherds who will
care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be
lost or missing. I, the Lord, have spoken!
“For the time is coming,”
says the Lord,

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