Jeremiah 13

1This is what the Lord said to me: “Jeremiah, go and buy a linen loincloth. Then put it around your waist. Don’t let the loincloth get wet.” 2So I bought a linen loincloth, just as the Lord told me to do. And I put it around my waist. 3Then the message of the Lord came to me a second time. 4This was the message: “Jeremiah, take the loincloth you bought and are wearing, and go to Perath. Hide the loincloth there in a crack in the rocks.” 5So I went to Perath and hid the loincloth there, just like the Lord told me to do. 6Many days later, the Lord said to me, “Now, Jeremiah, go to Perath. Get the loincloth that I told you to hide there.” 7So I went to Perath and dug up the loincloth. I took it out of the crack in the rocks where I had hidden it. But now I could not wear the loincloth, because it was ruined. It was not good for anything. 8Then the message of the Lord came to me. 9This is what the Lord said: “The loincloth is ruined and not good for anything. In the same way, I will ruin the proud people of Judah and Jerusalem. 10I will ruin those proud and evil people of Judah. They refuse to listen to my messages. They are stubborn and do only the things they want to do. They follow and worship other gods. Those people of Judah will become like this linen loincloth. They will be ruined and not good for anything. 11A loincloth is wrapped tightly around a man’s waist. In the same way, I wrapped all the family of Israel and all the family of Judah around me.” This message is from the Lord.” I did that so those people would be my people. Then my people would bring fame, praise, and honor to me. But my people would not listen to me.” 12“Jeremiah, say to the people of Judah: 'This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ Those people will laugh and say to you, 'Of course, we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ 13Then you will say to them, 'This is what the Lord says: I will make everyone that lives in this land helpless, like a drunken man. I am talking about the kings that sit on David’s throne. I am also talking about the priests, the prophets, and all the people that live in Jerusalem. 14I will make the people of Judah stumble and fall into one another. Fathers and sons will fall into one another.’” This message is from the Lord. “'I will not feel sorry or have pity for them. I will not allow compassion to stop me from destroying the people of Judah.’” 15Listen and pay attention. The Lord has spoken to you. Don’t be proud. 16Honor the Lord your God. Praise him or he will bring darkness. Praise him before you fall on the dark hills. You people of Judah are hoping for light. But the Lord will turn the light into thick darkness. The Lord will change the light into a very thick darkness. 17If you people of Judah don’t listen to the Lord, I will hide and cry. Your pride will cause me to cry. I will cry very hard. My eyes will overflow with tears. Why? Because the Lord’s flock will be captured. 18Tell these things to the king and his wife, ”Come down from your thrones. Your beautiful crowns have fallen from your heads.” 19The cities in the Negev desert are locked. No person can open them. All the people of Judah are taken into exile. They were carried away as prisoners. 20Jerusalem, look! The enemy is coming from the north! Where is your flock? God gave that beautiful flock to you. ˻You were supposed to care for that flock.˼ 21What will you say when the Lord asks you to account for that flock? You were supposed to teach the people ˻about God˼. Your leaders were supposed to lead the people. ˻But they did not do their job!˼ So you will have much pain and troubles. You will be like a woman having a baby. 22You might ask yourself, ”Why has this bad thing happened to me?” Those things happened because of your many sins. Because of your sins, your skirt was torn off and your shoes were taken away. They did this to embarrass you. 23A black man can’t change the color of his skin. And a leopard can’t change his spots. In the same way, Jerusalem, you can’t change and do good. You always do bad things. 24“I will force you to leave your homes. You will run in all directions. You will be like chaff blown away by the desert wind. 25These are the things that will happen to you. This is your part in my plans.” This message is from the Lord. “Why will this happen? Because you forgot me. You trusted false gods. 26Jerusalem, I will pull your skirt up over your face. Everyone will see you, and you will be ashamed. 27I saw the terrible things you did. I saw you laughing and having sex with your lovers. I know about your plans to be like a prostitute. I have seen you on the hills and in the fields. It will be very bad for you, Jerusalem. I wonder how long you will continue doing your dirty sins.”

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