Jeremiah 11–15: The Judgements of God

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 158

Although it may seem like Jeremiah repeated his message of God’s judgment upon Judah, each chapter or sermon contains a slightly different view or teaching about these judgments.Jeremiah 11 is about the importance of making covenants with the Lord. The Lord reminded the people of Judah that He made special covenants with them as a people from the time Moses led them out of Egypt. Because they continually broke those covenants, they would be punished. Jeremiah 11 ends with a reference to people in Jeremiah’s hometown who wanted to kill him because of his message. The Lord said judgments would especially come upon those people.Jeremiah 12 tells how the Lord explained to Jeremiah why the wicked sometimes seem to prosper. The Lord assured him that justice will eventually come upon the wicked. In addition, He said that the righteous are also eventually rewarded for their works.The story of the Flood, in the days of Noah, can teach us that people can be so wicked that their sins “bind” them (2 Nephi 26:22), which can make them incapable of changing. The Lord destroyed the people because of this inability to change. The Book of Mormon speaks of people who refused to repent until it was “everlastingly too late” (Helaman 13:38). Jeremiah 13 holds the basic message that because the people were so “accustomed to do evil” they could not change their wicked ways, just as a leopard could not change his spots (see Jeremiah 13:23).Jeremiah 14 records Jeremiah’s deep feelings for his people as he pleads with the Lord for them. Verses 1–6 tell what Jeremiah learned from the Lord about why they were having a “dearth” (famine) in the land. Verses 7–9 record Jeremiah’s pleading with the Lord to turn away the famine, and verses 10–12 give the Lord’s answer. Jeremiah speaks in verse 13, and the Lord again speaks in verses 14–18. The final four verses of chapter 14 record Jeremiah’s words, which sound like a prayer.Jeremiah 15:1–14 holds the Lord’s proclamation of the destructions that would come upon Judah. Jeremiah worried that he was included in the judgments the Lord described. In verses 15–18, he told the Lord how faithful he had been. In verses 19–21, the Lord told Jeremiah that his life was accepted but that he should not try to defend his people.