I wish I could sketch Jeremiah’s word pictures. With strong imagery, he describes the marriage relationship between God and Israel. He betrothed her in Egypt, married her at Sinai, and gave her fruitful land as a wedding gift. But Israel spurned her Lover’s gift as well as her Lover.
God is appalled, horrified sad, and rightly angry. He’s never seen anything like it. “Has a nation ever changed its gods (even though they are not gods),” He said. They have committed two evils: 1) “They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,” and 2) “They have hewn for themselves broken cisterns that can’t hold water.” What an amazing visual! He gave them something more special than the warm springs at Yankari Game Reserve, and they are playing in empty rain barrels with holes in them.
And then Jeremiah uses more visuals:
- I broke your bond and yoke to free you, but you shattered and snapped the bonds with Me.
- I planted you, a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. But you turned into degenerate shoots of wild vine.
- You wash yourself with much soap, yet your guilt and iniquity are still on you. You’re spotted, dirty and stained.
- You’re like a female camel or donkey in heat! (Lots of lovers).
The images go on and on. It strikes me that God experienced pain, rejection, and abandonment long before Jesus experienced it on earth.
Jeremiah is preaching to God’s lover who forsook Him. This is Israel’s story. What is mine?