There’s no way to sugar coat the harsh language of Jeremiah 15. Mathew Henry’s commentary says it well, “We scarcely find anywhere more pathetic expressions of divine wrath against a provoking people than we have here in these verses.” We see the outcome of the broken covenant.
I’ve had the unfortunate opportunity to walk with some people through the broken covenant of marriage. Infidelity is a brutal thing. No party involved comes away unscathed. And there is always consequence to the decision to break covenant, no matter how merciful a spouse. Unfortunately Israel has not just broken their covenant with God, they’ve stomped on it, spit on it, and thrown it in the garbage. And so we see the fury of consequence come fourth from God.
Here’s what’s interesting to me though. The act of destruction has purpose to it. When you read through Jeremiah, there is always a lining of hope in the vest of justice – an outcome of redemption to every action of wrath. We find out in the New Testament that those who want to save their life, must lose it. And to get new growth, we must prune back the dead branches. In this case, the brutal reality of God’s wrath still is followed by a message of restoration. To destroy is to bring justice to a great wrong but also to prepare a new start towards great purposes.