A drought upon the land of Judah. (1-7) A confession of sin in
the name of the people. (8-9) The Divine purpose to punish is
declared. (10-16) The people supplicate. (17-22)
The people were in tears. But it was rather the cry of
their trouble, and of their sin, than of their prayer. Let us be
thankful for the mercy of water, that we may not be taught to
value it by feeling the want of it. See what dependence
husbandmen have upon the Divine providence. They cannot plough
nor sow in hope, unless God water their furrows. The case even
of the wild beasts was very pitiable. The people are not forward
to pray, but the prophet prays for them. Sin is humbly
confessed. Our sins not only accuse us, but answer against us.
Our best pleas in prayer are those fetched from the glory of
God's own name. We should dread God's departure, more than the
removal of our creature-comforts. He has given Israel his word
to hope in. It becomes us in prayer to show ourselves more
concerned for God's glory than for our own comfort. And if we
now return to the Lord, he will save us to the glory of his
The Lord calls the Jews "this people," not "his people."
They had forsaken his service, therefore he would punish them
according to their sins. He forbade Jeremiah to plead for them.
The false prophets were the most criminal. The Lord pronounces
condemnation on them; but as the people loved to have it so,
they were not to escape judgments. False teachers encourage men
to expect peace and salvation, without repentance, faith,
conversion, and holiness of life. But those who believe a lie
must not plead if for an excuse. They shall feel what they say
they will not fear.
Jeremiah acknowledged his own sins, and those of the
people, but pleaded with the Lord to remember his covenant. In
their distress none of the idols of the Gentiles could help
them, nor could the heavens give rain of themselves. The Lord
will always have a people to plead with him at his mercy-seat.
He will heal every truly repenting sinner. Should he not see fit
to hear our prayers on behalf of our guilty land, he will
certainly bless with salvation all who confess their sins and
seek his mercy.