Response to a World Dying in Sin

“Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment. Trust in money and you may have it taken from you; But trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.” (D.L. Moody From a sermon by Jeff Strite, Trusting) … More

Doom

Jeremiah pictured the panic of the people when God’s judgment began. They would flee to the fortified cities knowing that God had doomed them to perish. Their hope for peace was gone and the terror of the Babylonians filled the land. As the enemies’ horses stampeded from the North the land trembled as it waited in dread for the army to come and devour it (vv. 13-17). The people of Judah felt doomed and look for protection from the coming judgment (vv. 14-16). From Dan, the northern part of Palestine, the war-horses of the approaching enemy can be heard (v. 16). The foe was so awesome in its advance that their approaching “horses” and “strong ones” seem to make the land tremble. Much as in Num. 21:6-9, judgment comes upon the people in the form of “vipers” (v. 17). Here, however, there is no deliverance from their bite.

Those captured by the Babylonians wondered how their city could have fallen since God’s temple was there. In anguish they questioned if God was no longer there (vv. 18-19). God’s response was that Jerusalem’s destruction was brought on by their sin and not by His absence. He had given the people every opportunity to repent, but they continued to rebel. At this point in his temple message, Jeremiah breaks out into a heart rendering cry for his doomed people, uttering these pitiful words, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved.” (v. 20). Harvest and summer represents the two successive phases of the harvest season. The grain harvest was from April to June. The fruit harvest was later. If the first failed, the people could still look forward to the second. However, if both failed, famine was inevitable. For Judah the harvest season was over; no fruit had been stored for the winter and the people would not be saved (v. 21). Instead of pleading for mercy, the unrepentant and indifferent people continue with desperate and hopeless frustration .Gilead was famous for its balsam, which had medicinal properties for treating wounds (v. 22).

Application

Jeremiah responded with sorrow to a world dying in sin. I walk in a world still dying in sin. What is my response? Only when I have Jeremiah’s kind of compassion will I be moved to help.

Jeremiah 8:13-22 (English Standard Version)

"When I would gather them, declares the LORD, there are no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree; even the leaves are withered, and what I gave them has passed away from them." Why do we sit still? Gather together; let us go into the fortified cities and perish there, for the LORD our God has doomed us to perish and has given us poisoned water to drink, because we have sinned against the LORD. We looked for peace, but no good came; for a time of healing, but behold, terror. "The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of their stallions the whole land quakes. They come and devour the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders that cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you," declares the LORD. My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me. Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: "Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?" "Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?" "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?

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