Monday, September 15, 2014

What is the problem Here?

Read Jeremiah 8.

The first step to a solution is recognizing there is a problem.  Though the prophets of God had consistently delivered warnings, the people refused to admit anything was wrong (v.6).  Having ignored God's word and turning to their own so-called wisdom (vv.7-9), the sin of Judah reached a point beyond repair.

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah giving him a preview of what would happen to the nation.  Babylon's army will be loud and so thunderous it will feel like a earthquake.  Cities and people will be destroyed.

God gave them every opportunity to repent and turn to Him.  Solomon wrote, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)  Migratory birds know this (v.7).  Farmers know this to be true.  But with Judah, "The harvest is past, the summer is ended" and with no response they would not be delivered (v.20).

This was so devastatingly sad, that all Jeremiah wanted to do was to sit down and cry (8:21-9:1).  In a desperate prayer he asked the LORD, "Is there no balm in Gilead?  Is there no physician there?"  Gilead is located in the foothills on the east side of the Jordan River.  They were known for their commercial trade of an aromatic gum thought to have a medicinal effect.  Jeremiah called for some medicine and a doctor to come and restore his nation's spiritual health.

In Luke 5:27-32, Jesus called Levi (Matthew) to follow him and Matthew invited Him to dinner.  This prompted the self-righteous Pharisees and scribes to criticize Jesus for eating with sinners.  "And Jesus answered them, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.'"

Like Jeremiah, followers of Jesus weep over those who do not know Him yet.  Before one can experience the forgiveness of their sin and the spiritual healing God offers through Christ, there must be an admission of their need.  Oh, how we pray for the Holy Spirit to help others to see the urgency of their need for Him.

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