12th September 2011

Do We Also Sigh And Cry?

“The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.”
Jeremiah 8:20 (NIV) 

Under the inspiration of God, the prophet Jeremiah is warning the people of Judah to mend their ways, to return to their God in repentance. He warns them that the Babylonian army is on its way from the north to crush the nation; and Judah will be dragged off into captivity in Babylon. (Chapter 6:22-26). 

In chapter 8 Jeremiah uses the figure of harvest to point out to the people of Judah that they had squandered every opportunity that God had given them to repent. And now they were entirely without hope because all the pleadings of God had gone unheeded and the prophet who had delivered those many warnings to the people was in torment.  He cries out—“Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” (Chapter 8:21-22). 

He doesn’t hesitate to identify with his people. Their hurt becomes his hurt and he is filled with mourning and dismay. He is also distressed because he knows full well that there is a remedy for the people’s hurt, but they have not availed themselves of it and so their sickness is not healed. If we hold those thoughts and turn to Luke 19:41-44 (Williams) we find Jesus, just like Jeremiah, weeping over Jerusalem and the people of Judah: “As he came nearer, and saw the city, he broke out into a cry of mourning over it: and he said, ‘If only you understood this day what are the conditions of peace! But they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies shall build a up a bank of earth against you, and shut you up, and keep you in on every side, and throw you down to the ground, and your children inside your walls, and they shall not leave one stone in you upon another, because you did not understand the time when God visited you.’”  Once again, there was a Balm of Gilead, a healing for those people, but they refused to heed it and crucified the One who came to show the love and mercy of God for them. 

History shows that this did come upon Jerusalem in 70AD when the Roman army razed the city to the ground, and sacked and looted the Temple. So, do we as God’s people also cry over our nations because they too refuse to listen to the tender words of our Father and neglect the opportunities to turn back to him?  I believe we should. 

Father of all mercies, grant that your word will have free access to every nation, and that many will come to understand your amazing love and return to you.

Study by Cliff Neill

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