Have you rejected Judah completely? Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace but no good has come, for a time of healing but there is only terror. We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord , and the guilt of our ancestors; we have indeed sinned against you. For the sake of your name do not despise us; do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us and do not break it. Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain? Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God. Therefore our hope is in you, for you are the one who does all this. – Jeremiah 14:19-22
Apparently the people of Jerusalem and Judah have gotten the message of the last couple of passages and are ready to acknowledge that they messed up. They are still asking the equivalent of “why me”, but at least they are willing to acknowledge some culpability in the conflict. They acknowledge their wickedness. Which I guess is the modern equivalent of confessing our sins.
They also get the nature of their sin correct in that it is a sin against God and no one else. Then they wander into the weeds and use an interesting argument for why God should not “despise them”. They argue that it is for the sake of God’s name and “glorious throne” that they should not be despised by God — in essence saying to God “I missed the part where this is our problem”.
They would seem to be appealing to God’s vanity, as if that were possible. They don’t want to be despised because it would make God look bad –very strange logic. I guess modern God followers sometimes use similar logic when we say things like “God answer this prayer and I will follow you forever”. What we are really saying is make me look good and it will make You look good.
They also appeal to God’s sense of fairness, “Remember your covenant with us and do not break it.” Imagine a misbehaving child reminding their parent that their wickedness is actually the parent’s fault — probably would not end well. I think until the people of Judah and Jerusalem find true humility and repentance they will not find the peace like a river they are seeking.
The last part of the passage almost seems to be cotton candy complements after the preceding lapse in logic. The people admit that their idols are worthless and do not bring rain. Neither are the showers sent from the skies merely a natural occurrence. They are ultimately brought on by the Father of the Rain, God. The passage ends well with the people confessing that their only hope lies with God. Not a bad place for us to end up either.
Prayer: God our hope is in You and the rains that you provide to make us grown and thrive.