Jeremiah 4

(31 verses, 5:05 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • Jeremiah calls Judah to repentance and warns of the coming wrath of God.


  • vv. 1-4 are the call to repentance.
  • vv. 5-18 are the warning about the coming of God’s wrath.
  • vv. 19-31 are cries of lament from Jeremiah interspersed with God’s threats of punishment.


  • Even though Jeremiah saw the fall of Jerusalem, God still sent him to preach to the people. This shows us that God does not desire the death of the sinner. However, the Law must be proclaimed to bring to sin to light in order to prepare the way for the proclamation of the Gospel. Without the Law to diagnose and condemn sin, the cure of the Gospel does not make sense. Even though the Law kills, it is preached that the Gospel would bring new life. The first section seems to be the Old Testament background of Jesus’ parable of the sower (Matthew 13).
  • The description of Jerusalem’s impending judgment is vivid, including a reference to Genesis 1’s description of the earth being without form and void to show how thoroughly the wrath of God will burn through Judah (v. 23). Disaster from the North refers to the invading Babylonian armies that will carry the inhabitants of the land into captivity, break down the walls of Jerusalem, and raze the temple. The prophet is clear, however: this comes from the Lord. His anger over the sin of the people will not be turned back. The “hot wind” will make an otherwise fertile place into a barren desert, all because the hearts of the people were hardened against God’s Word. This ought to bring to mind what God says about the commandments: “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 20: 5–6)
  • Jeremiah’s lament and description of his anguish is notable. The prophets are God’s spokesmen on the ground and shadows of Christ. This shows how God is truly pained by the destruction about to befall Judah. This is echoed by Christ Himself in Luke 19.


  • Prayer: O Lord, our sins are great. Grant that they be continually drowned in the waters of our Baptism, that they would not harden our hearts toward You. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

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