Jeremiah 16:1-12 “You shall not take a wife.”
“You shall not take a wife.” (v. 1). Many labour and pray to find a spouse, but for Jeremiah the Lord answered any concern he might have had – Jeremiah would be called to remain unmarried, and he would not be a direct father to a succeeding generation of his own sons or daughters (v. 2). The command of Genesis 2:24 was superseded, for Jeremiah, by a direct revelation from the LORD, and the main reason given is that the mothers and children would die gruesome deaths, without even the time for lamentation or burial, their corpses would be food for birds and beasts (vv. 3-4). Covenantal peace and lovingkindness would depart from the nation (v. 5). There will be no comfort for those who remain, and certainly there will not be the joy of wedding feasts (vv. 6-9). The people will wonder, when they see these words, what iniquity it is which they have committed to deserve such punishment, and the answer will be that they and their forefathers had forsaken their covenant LORD, being guilty of idolatry (vv. 10-11). However, their primary sin, the one that was the ultimate cause of their downfall, was their refusal to listen to and obey the law-word of the covenant. Instead, each one followed the dictates of their own evil hearts, so that no one listened to the LORD (v. 12).