Dave Burnette's Commentary

Jeremiah Chapter 16

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Jeremiah
Date Penned: (627-586 BC)
Overview: To Urge God's People to Turn from Sin to God (c 1-52)
Theme: God's Judgement on Judah (c 1-45)
Message: A Prophecy of Disaster (v 1-21)

Jeremiah 16 Commentary 

(16:1) A Day of Disaster - This section portrays the coming day of disaster. It begins by showing Jeremiah's loneliness. He is a social outcast because of his harsh messages and his celibate lifestyle. He must not marry, have children, or take part in funerals or feasts. The section concludes with another appeal to the people to avoid judgment by turning to God. The people did not heed Jeremiah's words, however, and the first wave of destruction came almost immediately, in 605 BC (2 Kings 24:8-12). The second wave came in 597 BC, and Judah was completely destroyed in 586 BC. 

(16:5-7) Grieving - In Jeremiah's culture, it would have been unthinkable not to grieve publicly. The absence of mourning showed the people how complete their devastation would be. So many people would die that it would be impossible to carry out the customary mourning rituals, and they would be so exhausted by their grief that they would be too numb to participate at the funeral.

(16:8-13) Public Grief - In addition to being told not to participate in public mourning, Jeremiah was also told not to participate in feasts or other joyful events. The purpose of this was to show how seriously God was taking the nation's sins. In both cases--public grief and public joy--Jeremiah's life was to be an attention-getter and an illustration of God's truth. Sometimes we think that the only way to communicate effectively is through speaking or teaching, but God can use a wide variety of means to bring his message. Use your creativity, and listen when God directs you to take action. 

(16:14-15) God's Mercy - The book of Exodus records God's miraculous rescue of his people from Egyptian slavery (Exodus 1-15). The people's return from exile would be so momentous that it would overshadow even the exodus from Egypt. Although his people had been very stubborn, God would once again show his great mercy to them. 

(16:17) Hiding from God - Small children think that if they can't see you, then you can't see them. The people of Israel may have wished that hiding from God was as simple as closing their eyes. Although they closed their eyes to their sinful ways, their sins certainly weren't hidden from God. He who sees everything cannot be deceived. Do you have a sinful attitude or action that you hope God won't notice? He knows about it. The first step of repentance is to acknowledge that God knows about your sins. 

(16:19) God's Presence - In this prayer, Jeremiah approached God with three descriptions: strength, fortress, and refuge. Each one gives a slightly different glimpse of how Jeremiah experienced God's presence, and each is a picture of security and protection. Let God be your strength when you feel weak, your fortress when enemies come against you, and your refuge when you need to retreat from life's pressures.


Dave Burnette's Life Application

Our Strength, Fortress, and Refuge

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Jeremiah 16. In our text today we see a prophesy and Jeremiah approaching God in prayer with 3 descriptive names: Strength, Fortress, and Refuge. Each name gives a view of how Jeremiah experienced God's presence. In making application we see that we can let God be out strength when we are weak, your fortress when your enemies come against you, and your refuge when you need to retreat from the pressures of life. How about you? Do you look to the Lord for your daily needs? Let us learn from our text today and the Prayer of Jeremiah to look to the Lord and Pray to Him in our time of need as He is our Strength, Fortress, and Refuge.


Jeremiah 16

Jeremiah 16

 1The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying,

 2Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.

 3For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;

 4They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

 5For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

 6Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:

 7Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

 8Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink.

 9For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

 10And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt shew this people all these words, and they shall say unto thee, Wherefore hath the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?

 11Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;

 12And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

 13Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.

 14Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that it shall no more be said, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;

 15But, The LORD liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither he had driven them: and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers.

 16Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the LORD, and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.

 17For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.

 18And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.

 19O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit.

 20Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?

 21Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The LORD.