Verses 1–9: DISASTER AND DESTRUCTION Disaster and destruction will come from Babylon in the north. The commanders will be like shepherds with their soldiers as numerous as flocks. They will pitch around Jerusalem to destroy it. Wickedness, violence and plundering will be directed against Jerusalem. There will be no ‘pickings’ left from the hostile gleaning from Babylon.
Verses 10–15: PROPHETS AND PEACE God’s people will not listen to His word and so will not heed His warning. This is because they are intent on sinning and listening to false prophets who are prophesying, ‘Peace, peace.’ Widespread punishment, not peace, will follow.
Verses 16–20: REST AND REJECTION God offers rest in repentance and a return to the old paths of trust and obedience. While the people reject His law and His teaching, they continue the hypocrisy of outward religious ceremony and observances.
Verses 21–26: STUMBLING AND SACKCLOTH God will cause His own people to stumble, to show them their need for forgiveness and help from Him, when the cruel invader comes upon them. He then bids them to dress in sackcloth and to mourn in sorrow for their sin.
Verses 27–30: TASK AND TEST Jeremiah’s task is to stand against God’s rebel people and test them. He finds that they are not properly refined, but, rather, polluted. They will be rejected, just as they have rejected God.Be wise today and always accept God's healing and restoration.