The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah about the drought.
2 Judah mourns; its gates fall apart. The people of Judah sit in mourning on the ground. Their cry goes up from Jerusalem. 3 Important people send their assistants out for water. They go to the cisterns, but they don’t find any water. They come back with their containers empty. They cover their heads, because they are ashamed and disgraced. 4 The ground is cracked because there has been no rain in the land. The farmers are disappointed. They cover their heads. 5 Even deer in the fields give birth and abandon their young because there’s no grass. 6 Wild donkeys stand on the bare hills. They sniff the air like jackals. Their eyesight fails because they have no green plants.
7 Do something, Lord, for the sake of your name, even though our sins testify against us. We have been unfaithful and have sinned against you. 8 You are Israel’s hope, the one who saves it in times of trouble. Why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only one night? 9 Why should you be like someone taken by surprise, like a strong man who cannot help? You, O Lord, are among us. We are called by your name. Don’t leave us!
10 This is what the Lord says about these people: They love to wander. They don’t keep their feet where they belong. So the Lord isn’t happy with them. He will remember their crimes and punish their sins.
11 The Lord said to me, “Don’t pray for the good of these people. 12 Even if they go without food, I won’t listen to their cries for help. Even if they sacrifice burnt offerings and grain offerings, I won’t be pleased with them. But I will destroy these people with wars, famines, and plagues.”
13 Then I said, “Almighty Lord, prophets are saying to them, ‘You won’t see wars or famines, because I, the Lord, will give you lasting peace in this place.’”
14 Then the Lord told me, “These are the lies that the prophets are telling in my name: They claim that I sent them, commanded them, and spoke to them. They dreamed up the visions they tell you. Their predictions are worthless. They are the products of their own imagination.
15 “I didn’t send these prophets. Yet, they prophesy in my name that there will be no wars or famines in this land. So this is what I, the Lord, say about them: Wars and famines will bring an end to these prophets. 16 The people they prophesy to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem. They will be victims of famines and wars. No one will bury them, their wives, their sons, or their daughters. I will pour on them the destruction that they deserve.
17 “Say this to them:
‘My eyes flow with tears day and night without stopping because my dear people will suffer massive destruction. It will be a very serious blow.’” 18 If I go to the field, I see those killed because of war. If I go to the city, I see those sick because of famine. Prophets and priests wander through a land they haven’t heard of. 19 Have you completely rejected Judah? Do you despise Zion? Why have you struck us so hard that we cannot heal? We hope for peace, but no good comes from it. We hope for a time of healing, but there’s only terror. 20 O Lord, we realize our wickedness and the wrongs done by our ancestors. We have sinned against you. 21 For the sake of your name, don’t despise us. Don’t dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your promise[a] to us; don’t break it. 22 The worthless gods of the nations can’t make it rain. By themselves, the skies can’t give showers. But you can, O Lord our God. We have hope in you because you do all these things.
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