Jeremiah says that the word of God came to him and told him to speak to Jerusalem.
Through Jeremiah, the voice of God compares Israel to a bride who used to be devoted to him when they were together in the wilderness (headed out of Egypt). So romantic!
But now Israel's become like a field where the fruits were eaten by robbers, who were put to death for trespassing on the harvest. Or like a runaway bride.
God asks why they've all forgotten him and why they never mention that he led them out of Egypt and into their own land.
The rulers and prophets forgot their sacred covenant with God and started worshipping Baal and doing other unholy stuff.
God accuses the people and their descendants of abandoning him. He asks them to look at other nations to see if they've ever abandoned their gods. Jealous much?
The heavens themselves should be shocked and disgusted at this: the people have abandoned the living fountain that's God, and built cisterns for themselves that are cracked and can't hold water (meaning the new religious practices they've adopted won't work).
Hot Foreign Fashions
Even though Israel isn't supposed to be a slave or a servant to other nations, it's become those things.
Foreign powers like the Egyptian cities of Memphis and Tahphanhes have had a bad influence on Israel.
Rather than return to God, the Israelites continue to pay more attention to fancy foreign empires like Egypt and Assyria.
Obviously, the people are going to get punished for their wicked and traitorous ways. They've forgotten to fear or revere God.
Israel broke the yoke binding it to God, and started prostituting itself (Jeremiah's words) to other gods, participating in pagan rituals involving worshipping trees and hills. Weird.
Israel's like a domesticated vine, planted by God, that somehow went wild. Or like an adulterous…um, camel or wild-ass, who wanders around in heat, waiting for potential mating partners to find her. She'll do it with anybody.
The people are stained with guilt they can't wash off, and have turned their backs on God and turned their faces towards trees and stones, which they now worship as father and mother.
Pretty soon they'll find out what a bad idea this is.
In the Mood for Vengeance
When the people call on God to save them, he'll tell them to go ask their new gods for help.
The people killed their own prophets, and obviously didn't learn a thing from the punishment God already directed at them.
God asks if he's been like a wilderness of darkness to them, strongly implying that he has been free and available the whole time. But they never write, they never call…
God says that the people have played around with wicked women and killed the innocent poor. They imagine that God will still have mercy on them, but he won't. It's vengeance time.
They won't prosper by trusting in Egypt. That's backing the wrong horse.