He selected Isaiah 41 and Jeremiah 14 both about His people of Israel, but two different perspectives.

In Isaiah 41 the Lord offers to help His children, often comforting them promising that He will give them strength. They are in Babylon and though He caused them to be taken captive there for continuous, defiant rebellion, their captors cruelly mistreated them. So we read much of this chapter devoted to encouraging them when they are at their lowest and without hope.

So the Lord reminds them who He has given them to help them in the past, “one from the east” who is righteous:

Isaiah 41(NKJV)

The Helper of Israel

“Who has stirred up one from the east,     calling him in righteousness to his service[a]?” Many believe the Lord is referring to Abraham.

Enduring Word-David Guzik

“Who is it? It’s a tough call, and either answer can be correct according to the context. On balance, it is best to see the one from the east as Abraham, because of the word of the LORD later in the chapter, in Isaiah 41:22: Let them bring forth and show us what will happen; let them show the former things, what they were. God appeals to idols and their worshippers, and asks them to tell both the future and the past. Since Cyrus is mentioned in Isaiah 41:25 (I have raised up one from the north… from the rising of the sun), he is the figure that shows God’s knowledge of the future. Abraham is the figure that shows God’s knowledge of the past. Past and future – with the present sandwiched in-between – all belong to the LORD our God.”

https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/isaiah-41/

ALL THE MEN OF THE BIBLE – ABRAM, ABRAHAM

“He received a distinct revelation from God, and of God, but we are not told how and when. This, however, we do know: He gave up a certainty for an uncertainty and went out not knowing whither he went. Willingly he surrendered the seen for the unseen.

“He was taught the lesson of patience, of waiting upon the Eternal God. It was many years before the promise of God was fulfilled to him—promises three in number—of a country, Canaan; of posterity, as the stars of heaven; of a spiritual seed, through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.

“He believed as he waited. His soul fed upon the promises of God. He believed God in the face of long delay and also amid difficulties that seemed insuperable. This is why he is called “the father of all them that believe.”

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-men-bible/Abram-Abraham

This seems to fit Abraham:

He hands nations over to him     and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword,     to windblown chaff with his bow. He pursues them and moves on unscathed,     by a path his feet have not traveled before. Who has done this and carried it through,     calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord—with the first of them     and with the last—I am he!”

The islands have seen it and fear;     the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward;     they help each other     and say to their companions, “Be strong!” Yes, He blessed them with a man of God who led them to another land that became their own, where they became a nation, a distinct people.

“It was many years before the promise of God was fulfilled to him—promises three in number—of a country, Canaan; of posterity, as the stars of heaven; of a spiritual seed, through whom all the families of the earth would be blessed.”

His people have remained true to Him, but other lands, other “islands” have not.

5The islands have seen it and fear;     the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward;     they help each other     and say to their companions, “Be strong!” The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,     and the one who smooths with the hammer     spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, “It is good.”     The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.

While others go to much trouble to build idols and make sure that their “gods” do not “topple,” if they do not nail them down, His people remain faithful:

“But you, Israel, my servant,     Jacob, whom I have chosen,     you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth,     from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’;     I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;     do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;     I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you     will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you     will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies,     you will not find them. Those who wage war against you     will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the Lord your God     who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear;     I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,     little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,     new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them,     and reduce the hills to chaff. 16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,     and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the Lord     and glory in the Holy One of Israel.”

He is not a remote, and uncaring God. He is a Father who is always for His children. Yes, they, we all need correction and as a good Father He will warn before acting and correct when the warning is not heeded, but when we need to hear from Him we do, and with such words…

“….whom I have chosen…my friend….I called you….     I have chosen you….. not rejected you… do not fear….I am with you…do not be dismayed….I am your God…..I will strengthen…. help you…     I will uphold you with my righteous right hand….All who rage against you     will surely be ashamed and disgraced… those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish…. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them….. Those who wage war against you     will be as nothing at all….. For I am the Lord your God     who takes hold of your right hand and says to you…. Do not fear….I will help you.  Do not be afraid….little Israel, do not fear…..I myself will help you….     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…..you will rejoice in the Lord     and glory in the Holy One of Israel.”

He will uphold us when the world would try to take us down. He is there for spiritual support, and for physical support. He will provide for our every need. When we are His He is a generous Father:

17 “The poor and needy search for water,     but there is none;     their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them;     I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,     and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water,     and the parched ground into springs. 19 I will put in the desert     the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland,     the fir and the cypress together, 20 so that people may see and know,     may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this,     that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

He continues to address idol worship and the futility of it:

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.     “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. 22 “Tell us, you idols,     what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were,     so that we may consider them     and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23     tell us what the future holds,     so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad,     so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. 24 But you are less than nothing     and your works are utterly worthless;     whoever chooses you is detestable.

The idols of course can be of no help whatsoever. They are figures made of metal; it would be the modern day equivalent of consulting a lamp. But the Lord is not man made. He has “stirred up” a helper.

Merriam Webster defines stirred up:

“To bring something (volatile or intense) into being.”

25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—     one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,     as if he were a potter treading the clay.”

David Guzik has a valid point. It is supported below:

26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,     or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’? No one told of this,     no one foretold it,     no one heard any words from you. 27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’     I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news.

He refers to a Abraham who was their forefather, and to Cyrus in the same chapter when Cyrus had not yet appeared: 28 I look but there is no one—     no one among the gods to give counsel,     no one to give answer when I ask them. 29 See, they are all false!     Their deeds amount to nothing;     their images are but wind and confusion…..

22 “Tell us, you idols,     what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were,     so that we may consider them     and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23     tell us what the future holds,     so we may know that you are gods….

He gives us prophesy for our benefit, so that we may know what is to come and be encouraged, to prepare so as not be caught off guard, or to change our ways to prevent it.

It has a two-fold benefit, one of which is mentioned above, to give us the info we need, and the other is to give us evidence that He is a God. No one else can predict the future for generations to come, and certainly not at worlds end. History bares Him out, all of His prophesies have been proven true.

In the next selection we read of the initial judgments that typically occur at first-when we do not listen to His warnings to turn back to Him-when we have abandoned His ways.

What follows when they continue to consistently ignore Him is what we just read about. Nevertheless, when they are abused He comes to help with the promising words of a loving Father.

So we have two distinct periods in Israel’s history that illustrate God as judge and God as Savior, and two distinct periods in human history: His people as His and His people as his. Their circumstances reflect their choice, simple example of cause and effect.

Jeremiah 14(NKJV)

Drought, Famine, Sword

14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,     her cities languish; they wail for the land,     and a cry goes up from Jerusalem. The nobles send their servants for water;     they go to the cisterns     but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled;     dismayed and despairing,     they cover their heads. The ground is cracked     because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed     and cover their heads. Even the doe in the field     deserts her newborn fawn     because there is no grass.

Once again, the contrast is dramatic:

Isaiah 41(NKJV)

The Helper of Israel

17 “The poor and needy search for water,     but there is none;     their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them;     I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,     and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water,     and the parched ground into springs. 19 I will put in the desert     the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland,     the fir and the cypress together, 20 so that people may see and know,     may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this,     that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

It is not as simple as we think, if you are good I will reward you with God although it is that when we force it to be. He will use all resources that are available to Him, so that would be everything-for our good. Deprivation gets our attention, particularly when our resources are useless. Rain enables all that we need, we cannot produce in mass quantities. How many times in fairly recent history, and certainly in past history, have we reacted to a hopeless situation by asking Him for help as a nation? This is the basis for many revivals. He will do anything to help us, to save us from ourselves. As we read the Bible, we get to know the heart of our Father and we read of the actions of a “long-suffering” Father who is slow to act, preferring to warn, longing to forgive.

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights     and pant like jackals; their eyes fail     for lack of food.”

Although our sins testify against us,     do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled;     we have sinned against you…

Jeremiah admits that they have “often rebelled,” and that their “sins testify against us,” and asks for the Lord to save His people;

You who are the hope of Israel,     its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land,     like a traveler who stays only a night? Why are you like a man taken by surprise,     like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, Lord,     and we bear your name;     do not forsake us!

And the Lord responds to Jeremiah:

10 This is what the Lord says about this people:

“They greatly love to wander;     they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them;     he will now remember their wickedness     and punish them for their sins.”

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries[a] and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears     night and day without ceasing; for the Virgin Daughter, my people,     has suffered a grievous wound,     a crushing blow. 18 If I go into the country,     I see those slain by the sword; if I go into the city,     I see the ravages of famine. Both prophet and priest     have gone to a land they know not.’”

19 Have you rejected Judah completely?     Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us     so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace     but no good has come, for a time of healing     but there is only terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,     and the guilt of our ancestors;     we have indeed sinned against you. 21 For the sake of your name do not despise us;     do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us     and do not break it. 22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?     Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God.     Therefore our hope is in you,     for you are the one who does all this.

Jeremiah rightfully relies on His faith. In such times we also need to recall when we returned to Him He showed up.

If Jeremiah had attempted to recall Biblical history, he would have solid evidence that the Lord is faithful:

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be His people Abraham and He will give Jeremiah’s people Cyrus, but of course Jeremiah doesn’t know that for that is future history. We need both, faith and the certain knowledge that He is good, that His love knows no bounds, and that He is an almighty God and Savior.

He added this, notice it addresses all of the points He made in the previous two selections: idol worship, judgment and the instruments that He “stirs up” to implement it and the destruction that comes from both.

Jeremiah 4 (NKJV)

Jeremiah Laments over Judah

“If you will return, O Israel,” says the Lord, “Return to Me; And if you will put away your abominations out of My sight, Then you shall not be moved. And you shall swear, ‘The Lord lives,’ In truth, in [a]judgment, and in righteousness; The nations shall bless themselves in Him, And in Him they shall glory.”

For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem:

“Break up your [b]fallow ground, And do not sow among thorns. Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, And take away the foreskins of your hearts, You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, Lest My fury come forth like fire, And burn so that no one can quench it, Because of the evil of your doings.”

An Imminent Invasion

Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

“Blow the trumpet in the land; Cry, ‘Gather together,’ And say, ‘Assemble yourselves, And let us go into the fortified cities.’ Set up the [c]standard toward Zion. Take refuge! Do not delay! For I will bring disaster from the north, And great destruction.”

The lion has come up from his thicket, And the destroyer of nations is on his way. He has gone forth from his place To make your land desolate. Your cities will be laid waste, Without inhabitant. For this, clothe yourself with sackcloth, Lament and wail. For the fierce anger of the Lord Has not turned back from us.

“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord,That the heart of the king shall perish, And the heart of the princes; The priests shall be astonished, And the prophets shall wonder.”

10 Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Surely You have greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem, Saying, ‘You shall have peace,’ Whereas the sword reaches to the [d]heart.”

11 At that time it will be said To this people and to Jerusalem, “A dry wind of the desolate heights blows in the wilderness Toward the daughter of My people— Not to fan or to cleanse— 12 A wind too strong for these will come for Me; Now I will also speak judgment against them.”

13 “Behold, he shall come up like clouds, And his chariots like a whirlwind. His horses are swifter than eagles. Woe to us, for we are plundered!”

14 O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, That you may be saved. How long shall your evil thoughts lodge within you? 15 For a voice declares from Dan And proclaims [e]affliction from Mount Ephraim: 16 “Make mention to the nations, Yes, proclaim against Jerusalem, That watchers come from a far country And raise their voice against the cities of Judah. 17 Like keepers of a field they are against her all around, Because she has been rebellious against Me,” says the Lord. 18 “Your ways and your doings Have procured these things for you. This is your wickedness, Because it is bitter, Because it reaches to your heart.”

Sorrow for the Doomed Nation

19 O my soul, my soul! I am pained in my very heart! My heart makes a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, Because you have heard, O my soul, The sound of the trumpet, The alarm of war. 20 Destruction upon destruction is cried, For the whole land is plundered. Suddenly my tents are plundered, And my curtains in a moment. 21 How long will I see the [f]standard, And hear the sound of the trumpet?

22 “For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are [g]silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge.”

23 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. 25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the Lord, By His fierce anger.

27 For thus says the Lord:

“The whole land shall be desolate; Yet I will not make a full end. 28 For this shall the earth mourn, And the heavens above be black, Because I have spoken. I have purposed and will not relent, Nor will I turn back from it. 29 The whole city shall flee from the noise of the horsemen and bowmen. They shall go into thickets and climb up on the rocks. Every city shall be forsaken, And not a man shall dwell in it.

30 “And when you are plundered, What will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, Though you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you will make yourself fair; Your lovers will despise you; They will seek your life.

31 “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in [h]labor, The anguish as of her who brings forth her first child, The voice of the daughter of Zion bewailing herself; She spreads her hands, saying, ‘Woe is me now, for my soul is [i]weary Because of murderers!’

Isaiah 41(NKJV)

The Helper of Israel

41 “Be silent before me, you islands!     Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak;     let us meet together at the place of judgment.

“Who has stirred up one from the east,     calling him in righteousness to his service[a]? He hands nations over to him     and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword,     to windblown chaff with his bow. He pursues them and moves on unscathed,     by a path his feet have not traveled before. Who has done this and carried it through,     calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord—with the first of them     and with the last—I am he.”

The islands have seen it and fear;     the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward;     they help each other     and say to their companions, “Be strong!” The metalworker encourages the goldsmith,     and the one who smooths with the hammer     spurs on the one who strikes the anvil. One says of the welding, “It is good.”     The other nails down the idol so it will not topple.

“But you, Israel, my servant,     Jacob, whom I have chosen,     you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth,     from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’;     I have chosen you and have not rejected you. 10 So do not fear, for I am with you;     do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;     I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you     will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you     will be as nothing and perish. 12 Though you search for your enemies,     you will not find them. Those who wage war against you     will be as nothing at all. 13 For I am the Lord your God     who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear;     I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,     little Israel, do not fear, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,     your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge,     new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them,     and reduce the hills to chaff. 16 You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,     and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in the Lord     and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The poor and needy search for water,     but there is none;     their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them;     I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. 18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,     and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water,     and the parched ground into springs. 19 I will put in the desert     the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland,     the fir and the cypress together, 20 so that people may see and know,     may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this,     that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” says the Lord.     “Set forth your arguments,” says Jacob’s King. 22 “Tell us, you idols,     what is going to happen. Tell us what the former things were,     so that we may consider them     and know their final outcome. Or declare to us the things to come, 23     tell us what the future holds,     so we may know that you are gods. Do something, whether good or bad,     so that we will be dismayed and filled with fear. 24 But you are less than nothing     and your works are utterly worthless;     whoever chooses you is detestable.

25 “I have stirred up one from the north, and he comes—     one from the rising sun who calls on my name. He treads on rulers as if they were mortar,     as if he were a potter treading the clay. 26 Who told of this from the beginning, so we could know,     or beforehand, so we could say, ‘He was right’? No one told of this,     no one foretold it,     no one heard any words from you. 27 I was the first to tell Zion, ‘Look, here they are!’     I gave to Jerusalem a messenger of good news. 28 I look but there is no one—     no one among the gods to give counsel,     no one to give answer when I ask them. 29 See, they are all false!     Their deeds amount to nothing;     their images are but wind and confusion.

Jeremiah 14(NKJV)

Drought, Famine, Sword

14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,     her cities languish; they wail for the land,     and a cry goes up from Jerusalem. The nobles send their servants for water;     they go to the cisterns     but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled;     dismayed and despairing,     they cover their heads. The ground is cracked     because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed     and cover their heads. Even the doe in the field     deserts her newborn fawn     because there is no grass. Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights     and pant like jackals; their eyes fail     for lack of food.”

Although our sins testify against us,     do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled;     we have sinned against you. You who are the hope of Israel,     its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land,     like a traveler who stays only a night? Why are you like a man taken by surprise,     like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, Lord,     and we bear your name;     do not forsake us!

10 This is what the Lord says about this people:

“They greatly love to wander;     they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them;     he will now remember their wickedness     and punish them for their sins.”

11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”

13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”

14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries[a] and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.

17 “Speak this word to them:

“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears     night and day without ceasing; for the Virgin Daughter, my people,     has suffered a grievous wound,     a crushing blow. 18 If I go into the country,     I see those slain by the sword; if I go into the city,     I see the ravages of famine. Both prophet and priest     have gone to a land they know not.’”

19 Have you rejected Judah completely?     Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us     so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace     but no good has come, for a time of healing     but there is only terror. 20 We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,     and the guilt of our ancestors;     we have indeed sinned against you. 21 For the sake of your name do not despise us;     do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us     and do not break it. 22 Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?     Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God.     Therefore our hope is in you,     for you are the one who does all this.