Jeremiah 10: 21 For the shepherds have become stupid
And have not sought the LORD;
Therefore they have not prospered,
And all their flock is scattered.
There are surely many recommendations and admonitions to pray in the Word, including, even, to pray without ceasing. The Lord, to emphasize this even further, calls the lack of prayer “stupid”. Here, the results of prayer, which are many, could have included prosperity.
A Satire on Idolatry
1Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the LORD,
“Do not learn the way of the nations,
And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens
Although the nations are terrified by them;
3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion;
Because it is wood cut from the forest,
The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4 “They decorate it with silver and with gold;
They fasten it with nails and with hammers
So that it will not totter.
5 “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they,
And they cannot speak;
They must be carried,
Because they cannot walk!
Do not fear them,
For they can do no harm,
Nor can they do any good.”
6 There is none like You, O LORD;
You are great, and great is Your name in might.
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations?
Indeed it is Your due!
For among all the wise men of the nations
And in all their kingdoms,
There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish
In their discipline of delusion—their idol is wood!
9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish,
And gold from Uphaz,
The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith;
Violet and purple are their clothing;
They are all the work of skilled men.
10 But the LORD is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.
At His wrath the earth quakes,
And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
11Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom;
And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens,
And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth;
He makes lightning for the rain,
And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge;
Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols;
For his molten images are deceitful,
And there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of mockery;
In the time of their punishment they will perish.
16 The portion of Jacob is not like these;
For the Maker of all is He,
And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance;
The LORD of hosts is His name.
17 Pick up your bundle from the ground,
You who dwell under siege!
18 For thus says the LORD,
“Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land
At this time,
And will cause them distress,
That they may be found.”
19 Woe is me, because of my injury!
My wound is incurable.
But I said, “Truly this is a sickness,
And I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed,
And all my ropes are broken;
My sons have gone from me and are no more.
There is no one to stretch out my tent again
Or to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become stupid
And have not sought the LORD;
Therefore they have not prospered,
And all their flock is scattered.
22 The sound of a report! Behold, it comes—
A great commotion out of the land of the north—
To make the cities of Judah
A desolation, a haunt of jackals.
23 I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself,
Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, O LORD, but with justice;
Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You
And on the families that do not call Your name;
For they have devoured Jacob;
They have devoured him and consumed him
And have laid waste his habitation.
The Broken Covenant
1The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2“Hear the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 3and say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Cursed is the man who does not heed the words of this covenant 4which I commanded your forefathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, ‘Listen to My voice, and do according to all which I command you; so you shall be My people, and I will be your God,’ 5in order to confirm the oath which I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day.”’” Then I said, “Amen, O LORD.”
6And the LORD said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them. 7‘For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, “Listen to My voice.” 8‘Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked, each one, in the stubbornness of his evil heart; therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they did not.’”
9Then the LORD said to me, “A conspiracy has been found among the men of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10“They have turned back to the iniquities of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and they have gone after other gods to serve them; the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken My covenant which I made with their fathers.” 11Therefore thus says the LORD, “Behold I am bringing disaster on them which they will not be able to escape; though they will cry to Me, yet I will not listen to them. 12“Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods to whom they burn incense, but they surely will not save them in the time of their disaster. 13“For your gods are as many as your cities, O Judah; and as many as the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal.
14“Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.
15 “What right has My beloved in My house
When she has done many vile deeds?
Can the sacrificial flesh take away from you your disaster,
So that you can rejoice?”
16 The LORD called your name,
“A green olive tree, beautiful in fruit and form”;
With the noise of a great tumult
He has kindled fire on it,
And its branches are worthless.
17The LORD of hosts, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done to provoke Me by offering up sacrifices to Baal.
Plots against Jeremiah
18 Moreover, the LORD made it known to me and I knew it;
Then You showed me their deeds.
19 But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter;
And I did not know that they had devised plots against me, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
And let us cut him off from the land of the living,
That his name be remembered no more.”
20 But, O LORD of hosts, who judges righteously,
Who tries the feelings and the heart,
Let me see Your vengeance on them,
For to You have I committed my cause.
21Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, “Do not prophesy in the name of the LORD, so that you will not die at our hand”; 22therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I am about to punish them! The young men will die by the sword, their sons and daughters will die by famine; 23and a remnant will not be left to them, for I will bring disaster on the men of Anathoth—the year of their punishment.”
1 Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You;
Indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You:
Why has the way of the wicked prospered?
Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease?
2 You have planted them, they have also taken root;
They grow, they have even produced fruit.
You are near to their lips
But far from their mind.
3 But You know me, O LORD;
You see me;
And You examine my heart’s attitude toward You.
Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter
And set them apart for a day of carnage!
4 How long is the land to mourn
And the vegetation of the countryside to wither?
For the wickedness of those who dwell in it,
Animals and birds have been snatched away,
Because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.”
5 “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out,
Then how can you compete with horses?
If you fall down in a land of peace,
How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?
6 “For even your brothers and the household of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you,
Even they have cried aloud after you.
Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.”
7 “I have forsaken My house,
I have abandoned My inheritance;
I have given the beloved of My soul
Into the hand of her enemies.
8 “My inheritance has become to Me
Like a lion in the forest;
She has roared against Me;
Therefore I have come to hate her.
9 “Is My inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to Me?
Are the birds of prey against her on every side?
Go, gather all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!
10 “Many shepherds have ruined My vineyard,
They have trampled down My field;
They have made My pleasant field
A desolate wilderness.
11 “It has been made a desolation,
Desolate, it mourns before Me;
The whole land has been made desolate,
Because no man lays it to heart.
12 “On all the bare heights in the wilderness
Destroyers have come,
For a sword of the LORD is devouring
From one end of the land even to the other;
There is no peace for anyone.
13 “They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns,
They have strained themselves to no profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the LORD.”
14Thus says the LORD concerning all My wicked neighbors who strike at the inheritance with which I have endowed My people Israel, “Behold I am about to uproot them from their land and will uproot the house of Judah from among them. 15“And it will come about that after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land. 16“Then if they will really learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the LORD lives,’ even as they taught My people to swear by Baal, they will be built up in the midst of My people. 17“But if they will not listen, then I will uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” declares the LORD.
The LORD Gives Dominion to the King.
A PSALM OF DAVID.
1 The LORD says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2 The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
3 Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power;
In holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
Your youth are to You as the dew.
4 The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations,
He will fill them with corpses,
He will shatter the chief men over a broad country.
7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.