Bible: Jer 2:20-31

The Lord Expresses His Exasperation at Judah’s Persistent Idolat

2:20Indeed, 1  long ago you threw off my authority

and refused to be subject to me. 2 

You said, ‘I will not serve you.’ 3 

Instead, you gave yourself to other gods on every high hill

and under every green tree,

like a prostitute sprawls out before her lovers. 4 

2:21 I planted you in the land

like a special vine of the very best stock.

Why in the world have you turned into something like a wild vine

that produces rotten, foul-smelling grapes? 5 

2:22 You can try to wash away your guilt with a strong detergent.

You can use as much soap as you want.

But the stain of your guilt is still there for me to see,” 6 

says the Lord God. 7 

2:23How can you say, ‘I have not made myself unclean.

I have not paid allegiance to 8  the gods called Baal.’

Just look at the way you have behaved in the Valley of Hinnom! 9 

Think about the things you have done there!

You are like a flighty, young female camel

that rushes here and there, crisscrossing its path. 10 

2:24 You are like a wild female donkey brought up in the wilderness.

In her lust she sniffs the wind to get the scent of a male. 11 

No one can hold her back when she is in heat.

None of the males need wear themselves out chasing after her.

At mating time she is easy to find. 12 

2:25 Do not chase after other gods until your shoes wear out

and your throats become dry. 13 

But you say, ‘It is useless for you to try and stop me

because I love those foreign gods 14  and want to pursue them!’

2:26 Just as a thief has to suffer dishonor when he is caught,

so the people of Israel 15  will suffer dishonor for what they have done. 16 

So will their kings and officials,

their priests and their prophets.

2:27 They say to a wooden idol, 17  ‘You are my father.’

They say to a stone image, ‘You gave birth to me.’ 18 

Yes, they have turned away from me instead of turning to me. 19 

Yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’

2:28 But where are the gods you made for yourselves?

Let them save you when you are in trouble.

The sad fact is that 20  you have as many gods

as you have towns, Judah.

2:29Why do you try to refute me? 21 

All of you have rebelled against me,”

says the Lord.

2:30It did no good for me to punish your people.

They did not respond to such correction.

You slaughtered your prophets

like a voracious lion.” 22 

2:31 You people of this generation,

listen to what the Lord says.

“Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel?

Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you? 23 

Why then do you 24  say, ‘We are free to wander. 25 

We will not come to you any more?’

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