Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin. I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”
Judah, the country to which Jeremiah was sent, refused to listen to the critique that he brought against them. Judah had abandoned Yahweh, the God who delivered them from Egypt, who established them as a nation and who granted them prosperity and safety. Though God sent His people many messengers, prophets with words of judgment and repentance, Judah refused to reform their actions: “And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention” (Jeremiah 25:4). Finally, God raised up a foreign power against them to destroy the land and send them into exile. This was destructive of Judah’s very identity as God’s people. Their occupation of the land was central to their understanding of who they were, especially in relation to God. By removing them from the land, God was essentially rejecting them as His people, revoking His promises to them. Judah experienced the abandonment of God.