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No Water—No Food

14 The Word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah when there was no water: “Judah is full of sorrow and her gates are weak. Her people sit on the ground in sorrow, and a cry goes up from Jerusalem. Their men of honor have sent their servants for water. They have come to the wells and found no water, and returned with their jars empty. They have been put to shame and troubled, and covered their heads. The ground is dried up because there has been no rain on the land. The farmers have been put to shame and have covered their heads. Even the deer in the field leaves her young one which has just been born, because there is no grass. The wild donkeys stand on the open hill-tops. They breathe hard for air like wild dogs. Their eyes become weak because there is nothing to eat.

“Even when our sins speak against us, O Lord, do something for the good of Your name. For we have fallen away from You many times. We have sinned against You. You are the Hope of Israel, the One Who saves it in time of trouble. Why are You like a stranger in the land? Why are You like a traveler who has set up his tent for the night? Why are You like a man surprised, like a strong man who cannot save? Yet You are among us, O Lord, and we are called by Your name. Do not leave us!”

10 The Lord says this about these people, “They have loved to go their own way. They have not held their feet back. So the Lord is not pleased with them. Now He will remember their wrong-doing and punish their sins.” 11 The Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. 12 When they go without food, I will not listen to their cry. And when they give burnt gifts and grain gifts, I will not receive them. But I will destroy them by the sword, hunger and disease.”

13 Then I said, “O Lord God, the ones who speak in Your name are telling them, ‘You will not see the sword and you will not go hungry. But I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” 14 Then the Lord said to me, “Those men are speaking lies in My name. I have not sent them, or told them, or spoken to them. They are telling you a false dream of a false future that means nothing. They are speaking the lies of their own hearts. 15 So this is what the Lord says about those men who tell what is going to happen in the future using My name. I did not send them, yet they keep saying, ‘There will be no sword or hunger in this land.’ So by the sword and by hunger those false teachers will be destroyed! 16 And the people they tell these things to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of hunger and the sword. There will be no one to bury them, or their wives, or their sons, or their daughters. For I will pour out their own sin upon them. 17 You will say to them, ‘Let my eyes flow with tears without stopping night and day. For my people have been crushed with a very hard beating. 18 If I go out to the country, I see those killed by the sword! Or if I go into the city, I see diseases because of hunger! For both the man who speaks for God and the religious leader have gone around and around in the land they do not know.’”

The People Cry to the Lord

19 Have You nothing at all to do with Judah any more? Do You hate Zion? Why have You punished us so that we cannot be healed? We waited for peace, but nothing good came. We waited for a time of healing, but there is much trouble. 20 We know that we are sinful, O Lord, and we know the sin of our fathers. For we have sinned against You. 21 For the good of Your name do not hate us. Do not put to shame the throne of Your shining-greatness. Remember and do not break Your agreement with us. 22 Are there any among the false gods of the nations who give rain? Or can the heavens give rain? Is it not You, O Lord our God? So we hope in You. For You are the One Who has done all these things.

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