The first 31 years of Jeremiah's ministry were
wonderful since Josiah was a godly man that ruled over Judah and
ushered in revival. The political situation however was unstable
since the King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to dominate the Middle East.
Assyria and Egypt combined forces to roll back the Babylonians and
Judah was caught in the middle. King Josiah sided with the
Babylonians and was killed in a battle with Pharaoh Necho of Egypt.
It was downhill for Judah after that and God warned that trouble
would come from the north. The generation which came into the
Promised Land loved and worshiped Him. God wanted to know what He
had done wrong with the current generation since pretty much
everyone from the kings on down had rejected the Lord. Judah has
left God and exchanged Him for inert and unresponsive idols. As a
result, God promised to bring destruction and bitterness, but He
would make an appeal to their grandchildren. The wickedness of the
people of Judah would correct them, because when people abandon God,
it is an evil thing that leads to bitterness. Esau abandoned God by
despising his birthright and he became a bitter man. This is what
happens when you forget God.