In verse 30 of Jeremiah, Chapter 4, the symbolic woman, Judah, in rebellion to her husband, puts on her red dress, make up and jewelry and goes out to meet God’s enemies thinking she can seduce them with her beauty. But as Ryken 05 sinobserves, “Even after all her primping, Judah will be destroyed. ‘You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life’ (v. 30b). To put it another way, Judah had a fatal attraction. Jeremiah warned God’s people again and again that false gods abuse their worshipers. This northern army has not come for love, but for violence. Judah’s fancy dress and shiny beads cannot save her. She will die, it seems, in childbirth. That is what happens to anyone who tries to ignore God’s wrath against sin. You can dress up for a night on the town, seeking satisfaction and salvation from someone else, but you will not be saved.”[1]

Jeremiah 4:31 says, “For I heard a cry as of a woman in labor, anguish as of one giving birth to her first child, the cry of the daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands, ‘Woe is me! I am fainting before murderers.’” It’s interesting that verse 30 speaks of seduction and verse 31 speaks of a woman dying in child birth. It’s as if her adultery resulted in the conception of the very thing that takes her life. I think that’s what Ryken means in his comment above about seeking to find satisfaction in life in anyone else but God. The seeds we sow in our idolatry conceive the very thing that when brought forth takes our very life from us instead of adding something to it.

Speaking on the new life believers find through faith in Christ, Piper says, “The faith that justifies also satisfies—it satisfies the human heart and frees it from the deceptive satisfactions of sin. Faith is the expulsive power of a new affection.” He goes on to say that although we will struggle in this life with our old attachments to the pleasures of this world, in the end we know that, “Perfection comes at the end of life when we die or when Christ returns. …That’s the nature of saving faith. It finds satisfaction in Christ and so is weaned away from the satisfactions of sin.”[2]

[1] Philip Graham Ryken, Jeremiah and Lamentations: From Sorrow to Hope, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 79.

[2] John Piper, Sermons from John Piper (1990–1999) (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2007).