17 Eternal One: Judah’s sin is engraved on the tablets of their hearts, inscribed on the horns of their altars with an iron tool, tipped with a diamond point. 2 Their children remember their pagan altars and the sacred poles[a] used in idol worship beside leafy green trees on high hills. 3 I will see that My mountain in the land, your nation’s wealth, and all your treasures will be handed over as plunder to your enemies. I will even give your pagan high places to pay the cost for the sins you committed all over Judah. 4 You’ll let this inheritance I gave you slip through your fingers. I will make you slaves to your enemies in a land you have never known because you have stirred My anger into a roaring fire that will last forever.
5 Cursed is the one who trusts in human strength and the abilities of mere mortals.
His very heart strays from the Eternal.
6 He is like a little shrub in the desert that never grows;
he will see no good thing come his way.
He will live in a desert wasteland,
a barren land of salt where no one lives.
7 But blessed is the one who trusts in Me alone;
the Eternal will be his confidence.
8 He is like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots beside the stream.
It does not fear the heat or even drought.
Its leaves stay green and its fruit is dependable, no matter what it faces.
The choices and consequences are clear. Rely on people alone, and life will be tough and brutish. Rely on the one True God, and life will be rich and productive.
9 The heart is most devious and incurably sick.
Who can understand it?
10 It is I, the Eternal One, who probes the innermost heart
and examines the innermost thoughts.
I will compensate each person justly,
according to his ways and by what his actions deserve.
11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs that are not hers,
so is the person who gains wealth unfairly.
In the middle of his life a fool’s money will abandon him.
In the end he, too, will be shown for what he is—a fool.
12 Jeremiah (to God): But from the beginning, Your throne of glory,
our holy place, has always been exalted.
13 O Eternal One, the hope of Israel,
all who forsake You will be put to shame.
Those who turn their backs on You will be written in the dirt,
because they have forsaken You, the spring of living water.
14 Heal me, O Eternal One, and I will be healed.
You alone can save me; to You alone do I sing my praise.
15 The scoffers keep mocking me, saying,
“Where is the word of the Eternal you keep talking about?
Why haven’t His words come to pass?”
16 You know I have not run from my calling—
I have been a shepherd to Your people as You commanded.
I have not secretly desired the day of disaster and sorrow.
You know everything I’ve spoken to these people,
because it was the task You’d set before me.
17 Do not turn and terrify me.
Be my refuge when the dreaded day of reckoning comes.
18 Bring shame on those who persecute me, but save me from that shame.
Bring terror on them, but save me from that terror.
Bring them to the day of disaster; shatter them, destroy them with double the destruction.
Eternal One (to Jeremiah): 19 Go, stand at the public gate of Jerusalem, the one through which the kings of Judah come and go; then take up your post at the other gates around the city. 20 Say to them, Listen, you kings of Judah, you people of Judah, you citizens of Jerusalem, and any who pass through these gates. Listen to the words of the Eternal; 21 this is what He says: “For the welfare of your lives and the good of this city, be careful! Stop violating My Sabbaths by carrying your loads through Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 22 Do not bring your loads out of the house on that day—do not work at all on the Sabbath. Keep the Sabbath day holy as I commanded your ancestors all those years ago.[b] 23 But even then, they did not listen or pay attention to Me; instead, they stiffened their resolve not to listen or accept any instruction from Me.
24 “But if you will listen to My words and obey Me by not carrying your loads through these city gates on the Sabbath, if you will live differently on the Sabbath, differently from the rest of your week by not working on it, I promise Jerusalem will be your home forever. 25 The family of David will always reign on his throne here. The kings and rulers of this land will pass through these gates in chariots and on horses. As for their officers, the people of Judah, and the citizens of Jerusalem, they will live securely in this city forever. 26 People will come from Jerusalem’s surrounding villages and the towns and the regions in Judah. They will come from the territory of Benjamin, from the rolling hills in the west, from the hill country, and from the Negev wilderness. They will bring their burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings, incense, and freewill offerings to the Eternal’s temple. 27 But if you refuse to obey Me—if you continue to bring your loads though the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath even though I’ve separated that day as a time of rest—you will be punished. I will kindle a fire to these very gates that cannot be quenched, and all Jerusalem will burn—even her palaces.”