Jeremiah 13:12
Therefore you are to tell them that this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Every wineskin shall be filled with wine.' And when they reply, 'Don't we surely know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?'
Sermons
The Ruined Girdle; Or, it May be Too Late to MendS. Conway Jeremiah 13:1-12
Divine PunishmentsJ. Parker, D. D.Jeremiah 13:12-14
Drunk with EvilJ. M. Campbell.Jeremiah 13:12-14
The Last Results of SinS. Conway Jeremiah 13:12-14
The Wine of the Wrath of GodW. Whale.Jeremiah 13:12-14
Vessels of WrathS. Conway Jeremiah 13:12-14
Broken Pitchers; Or, Worldly Sufficiency and its PunishmentA.F. Muir Jeremiah 13:12, 15


I. THE SIGNS OF THIS DISPOSITION. The threatenings of God are interpreted as if they had been truisms of blessing justified by the unbelievers' own experience. The prophet is therefore despised, and his message wrested from its original meaning. The people were so oblivious to their own guilt that they looked forward without fear to the future, or they professed to do so. They had clothed themselves in triple armor of self-sufficiency against Divine warnings. So the worldly mind continually prophecies good for itself instead of evil, and inverts the messages of Divine grace. The sharpest experiences and most signal reverses are not enough to rid it of this folly, and thereby it condemns itself.

II. HOW IT IS DEALT WITH BY GOD. That this is provoking to the Divine mind is evident. It is a fresh element added to the guilt already denounced. The insult to the messenger of God must be avenged, and this is accomplished:

1. By removing all ambiguity from his words. Their real meaning is explained so that no one can mistake it. In this pointed disillusion there is the greater emphasis imparted to the original message. God will not suffer any one to remain in ignorance of his final destiny, whether it be good or evil.

2. The doom already predicted is repeated with expressions of Divine determination and anger. Civil discord and national destruction are plainly set forth, and whilst these take place the ear of an offended God is turned away. He will "not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them."

III. IT IS WELL, THEREFORE, FOR MEN TO GIVE REVERENT HEED TO DIVINE WARNINGS AND INSTRUCTIONS. Sometimes in the history of the Church omens, dreams, and visions have been given whose meaning was not clear, but on prayerful solicitation it has been revealed. Willful blindness cannot escape punishment, because it provokes the just anger of God. But to those who ask in humble inquiry what the will of the Lord may be, he will return a gracious answer, and declare how the evil may be averted. - M.









Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
They are supposed to think that the prophet is merely stating what was the plain meaning of the words, and, under that impression, to reply, What great matter is this, to tell us that bottles which are made to be filled with wine should be filled with wine? — not seeking for any deeper meaning in the Lord's Word. But, "thus saith the Lord, Behold I will fill all the inhabitants of this land." These were the bottles truly spoken of, "even the kings that sit upon David's throne," etc. Now the drunkenness wherewith they were to be filled was not drunkenness with wine, but drunkenness with an evil spirit, with a mad spirit, with a spirit of discontent, a breaking up of all the bonds of society, a spirit of contempt of God, and of all God's ordinances. This was the drunkenness wherewith they were to be filled — in consequence of which they were to be falling against, and crushing each other, as happens to a nation in which all subordination disappears, and all is anarchy and confusion, and the people are, as it were, dashed against each other. And this is said to be the Lord's judgment upon them. It is after the manner of God that, when men refuse the Spirit of God, they should be given up to the spirit of Satan; that, when men refuse to be dwelt in of the Holy Spirit, they should be dwelt in by the spirit of madness and of fury; and this was the judgment threatened upon the Jews, that they should be dashed one against another, even the fathers and the sons together; and then, as if he would say, Do not think that I am not in earnest; do not think that, because judgment is my strange work, it is a work in which I will not engage: be assured that it shall be as I say, "I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." Three times God declares that He will not show mercy, but, on the contrary, destroy; because there is a voice which God has put within us to testify that God is merciful; and because there is a bad use which men are apt to make of the suggestions of that voice; and they are apt to feel as if a good and merciful God could not find it in His heart to put forth His hand to judgment. Oh, if men but knew God's tender mercy, they would indeed feel that that must be a strong reason which could move Him to pluck His hand from His bosom and rise up to wrath. It is as if God were saying — I have so proved My love to you, My unwillingness that you should perish, that ye may be slow to believe that I, even I, will punish. But be not deceived; there are reasons strong enough to prevail — to shut up even My compassions. I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, but destroy.

(J. M. Campbell.)

1. Every man is being fitted a vessel to honour or dishonour, to good or evil.

2. Every man will ultimately be filled to his utmost capacity by good or evil, according to his spiritual state.

3. The process of adaptation is being carried on by loyalty or disobedience to truth and God.

4. Where all are evil, everyone will be injurious to the others. This will make a hell. The reverse of this is true also.

5. God, who is love, has a time for severity as well as a time for mercy.

6. If God help not, none can aid effectually.

(W. Whale.)

I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord.
These words should be spoken with tears. It is a great mistake in doctrine as well as in practice to imagine that the imprecations of Holy Scripture should be spoken ruthlessly. When Jesus came near the city He wept over it.

I. DIVINE PUNISHMENTS ARE POSSIBLE. If we are not destroyed, it is not for want of power on the part of the offended Creator. The universe is very sensitively put together in this matter; everywhere there are lying resources which under one touch or breath would spring up and avenge an outraged law. Now and then God does bring us to see how near death is to every life. We do not escape the rod because there is no rod. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. Think of that. Do let it enter into our minds and make us sober, sedate — if not religious and contrite.

II. DIVINE PUNISHMENTS ARE HUMILIATING (ver. 13). Some punishments have a kind of dignity about them: sometimes a man dies almost heroically, and turns death itself into a kind of victory; and we cannot but consent that the time is well chosen, and the method the best for giving to the man's reputation completeness, and to his influence stability and progress. God can bring us to our latter end, as it were, nobly: we may die like princes; death may be turned into a kind of coronation; our deathbed may be the picture of our life — the most consummately beautiful and exquisite revelation of character — or the Lord can drive us down like mad beasts to an unconsecrated grave. How contemptuous He can be! How bitter, how intolerable the sarcasm of God! "I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." The Lord seems now and again to take a kind of delight in showing how utterly our pride can be broken up and trampled underfoot. He will send a worm to eat up the harvest: would He but send an angel with a gleaming sickle to cut it down we might see somewhat of glory in the disaster. Thus God comes into our life along a line that may be designated as a line of contempt and humiliation. Oh, that men were wise, that they would hold themselves as God's and not their own, as Divine property rather than personal possession! Then would they walk soberly and recruit themselves in many a prayer, and bring back their youth because they trust in God.

III. DIVINE PUNISHMENTS WHEN THEY COME ARE COMPLETE. "I will destroy them." We cannot tell the meaning of this word; we do not know what is meant by "destruction"; we use the term as if we knew its meaning, — and possibly we do know its meaning according to the breadth of our own intention and purpose; but the word as used by God has Divine meanings upon which we can lay no measuring line. We cannot destroy anything: we can destroy its form, its immediate relation, its temporary value; but the thing itself in its substance or in its essence we can never destroy. When the Lord says He will take up this matter of destruction we cannot tell what He means; we dare not think of it. We use the word "nothing," but cannot tell what He means by the nothingness of nothing, by the negativeness of negation, by the sevenfold darkness, by the heaped-up midnight of gloom. My soul, come not thou into that secret:

IV. DIVINE PUNISHMENTS ARE AVOIDABLE (ver. 16). The door of hope is set open, even in this midnight of threatening; still we are on praying ground and on pleading terms with God; even now we can escape the bolt that gleams in the thundercloud. What say you, men, brethren, and fathers? Why be hard? why attempt the impossible? why think we can run away from God? and why, remembering that our days are but a handful, will we not be wise and act as souls that have been instructed?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

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