The first twelve chapters of Jeremiah consist of a condemnation of Judah. It is harsh. The Lord’s contempt for His rebellious people extends not just to the living, but to the dead. The bones of past leaders of Judah will be unearthed and will lie as refuse on the ground. Property will be seized and wives will be “taken” by other men. Crops will dry up in the fields.
Because of the lifestyle of His people.
And yet, God does not rejoice in His justice.
One of the things you will notice in Jeremiah is the often conflation of God and His prophet. Is the prophet angry, or is it God? Is it God who weeps, or is it the prophet?
Hard to tell.
Two things are sure: the grief is real and it is shared. The presentation is a live and heart-stirring presentation of a truth presented in Ezekiel. God says: “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live” (Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11).
God does not love to punish. He longs to bless. But He will punish.