Jeremiah Must Live His Message
1 The Lord said to me:
2 Jeremiah, don't get married and have children—Judah is no place to raise a family. 3 I'll tell you what's going to happen to children and their parents here. 4 They will die of horrible diseases and of war and starvation. No one will give them a funeral or bury them, and their bodies will be food for the birds and wild animals. And what's left will lie on the ground like manure.
5 When someone dies, don't visit the family or show any sorrow. I will no longer love or bless or have any pity on the people of Judah. 6 Rich and poor alike will die and be left unburied. No one will mourn and show their sorrow by cutting themselves or shaving their heads. 7 No one will bring food and wine to help comfort those who are mourning the death of their father or mother.
8 Don't even set foot in a house where there is eating and drinking and celebrating. 9 Warn the people of Judah that I, the Lord All-Powerful, will put an end to all their parties and wedding celebrations. 10 They will ask, “Why has the Lord our God threatened us with so many disasters? Have we done something wrong or sinned against him?”
11 Then tell them I have said:
People of Judah, your ancestors turned away from me; they rejected my laws and teachings and started worshiping other gods. 12 And you have done even worse! You are stubborn, and instead of obeying me, you do whatever evil comes to your mind. 13 So I will throw you into a land that you and your ancestors know nothing about, a place where you will have to worship other gods both day and night. And I won't feel the least bit sorry for you.
14 A time will come when you will again worship me. But you will no longer call me the Living Lord who rescued Israel from Egypt. 15 Instead, you will call me the Living Lord who rescued you from that country in the north and from the other countries where I had forced you to go.
Someday I will bring you back to this land that I gave your ancestors. 16 But for now, I am sending enemies who will catch you like fish and hunt you down like wild animals in the hills and the caves.
17 I can see everything you are doing, even if you try to hide your sins from me. 18 I will punish you double for your sins, because you have polluted my own land. You have filled it with lifeless idols that remind me of dead bodies.
The Lord Gives Strength
I prayed to the Lord:

19 Our Lord, you are the one
who gives me strength
and protects me like a fortress
when I am in trouble.
People will come to you
from distant nations and say,
“Our ancestors worshiped
false and useless gods,
20 worthless idols
made by human hands.”

21 Then the Lord replied,
“That's why I will teach them
about my power,
and they will know that I
truly am the Lord.”