-Distresses are foretold with future hope of restoration in the bulk of this chapter with great biblical themes including God’s plan for all the nations and His exclusive power and might to save (Jeremiah 16:19-21). The LORD’s first words in this passage reflect a command not to take a wife or have any children during these days of destruction and chaos, in which Jeremiah lived (Jeremiah 16:1-2). The reason given is clear, “They will die of deadly diseases, they will not be lamented or buried; they will be as dung on the surface on the ground and come to an end by sword and famine, and their carcasses will become food for the birds of the sky and for the beasts of the earth (Jeremiah 16:4). God tells Jeremiah not to enter a house of mourning for these who will be destroyed because He has taken His peace from this people along with His lovingkindness and compassion (Jeremiah 16:5-7). Moreover, the Almighty instructs His prophet not go into a house of feasting to fellowship with these people. God is going eliminate from the Israelites in this place before the prophet’s eyes and in his time the voice of rejoicing and gladness (illustrated by the wedding occasion, Jeremiah 16:8-9). When the people will inevitably ask why all this is happening, Jeremiah is once again commanded to tell them the truth. He is to say to them, “It is because your forefathers have forsaken Me (the LORD) and have followed other gods and served them and bowed down to them; but (or I would take it a connective “and” here) Me (the LORD) they have forsaken and have not kept my law (Jeremiah 16:10-11).” God goes on to tell the prophet to report that this current generation has done even greater evil than their forefathers walking, each one, according to the stubbornness of their own evil hearts, without listening to their Savior (Jeremiah 16:12). Because of this He guarantees to “hurl” them out of this land into a place where they will be forced to serve other gods day and night without any of the LORD’s Divine favor (Jeremiah 16:13).
-However, after that time and in an unspecified future, the LORD promises in the next section to bring them back from the north from where He had banished them and restore them to their land, which He gave their fathers (Jeremiah 16:14-15). He will send for many fishermen (foreshadowing to Jesus and the disciples, Matthew 4:19, Mark 1:17) and hunters to gather because His eyes are on all their ways (Jeremiah 16:16-17). For now, however, He will doubly repay their iniquity and sin because they have polluted His good land with detestable idols and abominations (Jeremiah 16:18). *Application* We have at least partial fulfillment of this prophetic revelation in our time. Millions have returned from places like Russia to the north of the Promised Land and Israel has been restored as a sovereign nation. There will be more gathering from other places, but it is really cool to see God’s Hand in all this fulfillment to His majestic promises!