Jeremiah prays for Judah. Jeremiah sincerely voices the necessary elements of a prayer of repentance and a call for God to rise up to fulfill his covenant obligations.
- Confession of sin (14:20)
- God’s Reputation is at stake (14:21)
- Concern for the weak people (14:21)
- An appeal to the Lord’s covenant with Israel (14:21)
Jeremiah’s words are similar to the words prayed by the people of Judah in Jeremiah 14:7-9. But, this time it does not work. The Lord has already made his decision and the process of judgment has begun.
The people of Judah are praying because judgment is moving into their lives. They are feeling the
early stages of the social confusion, the economic collapse and the pains of famine have set in. (Jeremiah 14:1-6)
The Lord tells Jeremiah that no prayer or repentance can save this people. The judgment has been decreed and the decision for each of individual has been decided. (This is not speaking of predestination, but of a judicial sentence that has now been decreed.)
This calamity is not a matter of faith or a need for more fervent prayer. The Lord says that even if
men who prayed like Moses and Samuel (both of whom received answers to prayer for a
generation of people that the Lord had announced judgment) where now interceding the
decision to send judgment has already been made and the process has begun.
All that is left now is the manifestation of the judgment decreed. The people may ask the prophet:
"If the Lord is not going to answer, where should we go?" (Jeremiah 15:2-3).
The Lord gives them a very sarcastic answer:
- Those who have been sentenced to death should go to death
- Those who have been sentenced to death by the sword should go to the sword
- Those who have been sentenced to death by starvation should go to starvation
- Those who have been sentenced to be taken captive into Babylon should go to Babylon
For the individuals in Jeremiah’s generation things are hopeless!
God is not answering the prayers of this nation.