Jeremiah 17

The Lord Will Punish Judah

The Lord said:

1People of Judah,

your sins cannot be erased.

They are written on your hearts

like words chiseled in stone

or carved on the corners

of your altars.

* 2One generation after another

has set up pagan altars

and worshiped the goddess Asherah

everywhere in your country—

on hills and mountains,

and under large trees.

3So I'll take everything you own,

including your altars,

and give it all

to your enemies.

4You will lose the land

that I gave you,

and I will make you slaves

in a foreign country,

because you have made my anger

blaze up like a fire

that won't stop burning.

Trust the Lord

5I, the Lord, have put a curse

on those who turn from me

and trust in human strength.

6They will dry up like a bush

in salty desert soil,

where nothing can grow.

7But I will bless those

who trust me, the Lord.

8 They will be like trees

growing beside a stream—

trees with roots that reach

down to the water,

and with leaves

that are always green.

They bear fruit every year

and are never worried

by a lack of rain.

9You people of Judah

are so deceitful

that you even fool yourselves,

and you can't change.

10 But I know your deeds

and your thoughts,

and I will make sure

you get what you deserve.

11You cheated others,

but everything you gained

will fly away, like birds

hatched from stolen eggs.

Then you will discover

what fools you are.

Jeremiah Prays to the Lord

12Our Lord, your temple

is a glorious throne

that has stood on a mountain

from the beginning.

13You are a spring of water

giving Israel life and hope.

But if the people reject

what you have told me,

they will be swept away

like words written in dust.

14You, Lord, are the one I praise.

So heal me and rescue me!

Then I will be completely well

and perfectly safe.

15The people of Judah say to me,

“Jeremiah, you claimed to tell us

what the Lord has said.

So why hasn't it come true?”

16Our Lord, you chose me

to care for your people,

and that's what I have done.

You know everything I have said,

and I have never once

asked you to punish them.

17I trust you for protection

in times of trouble,

so don't frighten me.

18Keep me from failure

and disgrace,

but make my enemies fail

and be disgraced.

Send destruction to make

their worst fears come true.

Resting on the Sabbath

19-20The Lord said:

Jeremiah, stand at each city gate in Jerusalem, including the one the king uses, and speak to him and everyone else. Tell them I have said:

I am the Lord, so pay attention. 21-24 If you value your lives, don't do any work on the Sabbath. Don't carry anything through the city gates or through the door of your house, or anywhere else. Keep the Sabbath day sacred!

I gave this command to your ancestors, but they were stubborn and refused to obey or to be corrected. But if you obey, 25then Judah and Jerusalem will always be ruled by kings from David's family. The king and his officials will ride through these gates on horses or in chariots, and the people of Judah and Jerusalem will be with them. There will always be people living in Jerusalem, 26and others will come here from the nearby villages, from the towns of Judah and Benjamin, from the hill country and the foothills to the west, and from the Southern Desert. They will bring sacrifices to please me and to give me thanks, as well as offerings of grain and incense.

27But if you keep on carrying things through the city gates on the Sabbath and keep treating it as any other day, I will set fire to these gates and burn down the whole city, including the fortresses.