-The Word of the LORD through His prophet and spokesman Jeremiah in this chapter begins with a positive tone. There is a conditional if, which gives some glimmer of hope in a desperate time and situation. “If you will return” and “if you will put away your detested things from My presence” without wavering (Jeremiah 4:1), then they and the nations will bless themselves in Him, and in Him they will glory in truth, justice, and righteousness (Jeremiah 4:2). God tells them to break up their hardened hearts (the fallow ground) and not be deceived by the enemy and his tactics (sowing among thorns) in order to renew their covenant with the LORD on their part. Or else, God’s wrath will come like fire with nothing to quench it because of their evil deeds (Jeremiah 4:3-4).
-After this warning, the righteous judgment upon the land begins from the LORD. He is bringing from the north (Babylon, Nabopolassar and Nebuchadnezzar II) an evil destroyer as a lion to make their land a waste and ruin without inhabitant. This will be an appalling devastation to the hearts of the king, princes, priests, and prophets when they realize their own deceptive ways. Woe is decreed for this time (Jeremiah 4:5-13). Yet, this will not be a complete destruction because of the LORD’s faithfulness and His promise for ultimate redemption (Jeremiah 4:27). God’s desire is brilliantly laid out in verse fourteen: “Wash your heart from evil, O Jerusalem, that you may be saved. How long will your wicked thoughts lodge within you?” So while the besiegers come and annihilate, there is purpose in the corrective actions of an Almighty and All Loving God.
-A lament is given by the prophet beginning in verse 19 as he foresees the coming calamity in his land. His soul is in anguish, his hearts hurts and pounds in him, as he proclaims what he must in preparation for the devastating war that is inevitable. This occurs because God’s people have become foolish, not knowing Him. They are declared stupid with no understanding, shrewd to do evil and devoid of even knowing how to do good (Jeremiah 4:19-22).
-Verses twenty three through twenty six display natural descriptions of the tumult that is coming. This demonstrates the fierce anger of the LORD that is felt in every place of the holy land as a result of breaking covenant with Him in idolatry. God’s purpose and spoken Word does not change and will not be mocked (Jeremiah 4:28). *Application* Sometimes God really does have to show us who the real boss is. He will receive His glory one way or another and He will not share it with detestable things. This should be the obvious conclusion from our study today. Stay true to His will, His plan, and His guidance in your life and you will never have to fear His corrective discipline. Remember that His discipline is ultimately for our good and is done out of love (Hebrews 12:4-13).