Sunday, July 12, 2015


Is there no balm in Gilead,
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people? (Jeremiah 8:22)

The Jews were a sin-sick people.  The infection of iniquity had been self-inflicted.  Their spiritual immune system was compromised and they exposed themselves to the contagion of corruption.  Spiritual health and vitality were theirs for the taking, but instead they chose disease, decline, and death as a nation.

Babylon would be the instrument of their doom.  The armies of that empire would sweep across Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, as God’s angel of death.  Imagine a pagan people being used of God to visit His people with judgment!  Yet, how fitting, in that the Jews had worshipped false gods and called on demonic idols—even sacrificing their children on those altars!  They summoned demons, and God gave them what they asked for (Jer.7:1-34).  The destruction of the nation would be so complete that every treasure would be taken—even the graves would be robbed, lest any wealth be hidden there (Jer.8:1-3).  The moral bankruptcy of the nation would lead to their literal poverty.

The symptoms of their sin-sickness were evident.  Still, they refused to act.  They persisted in practices that brought them into a terminal state (Jer.8:4-7).  The Jews deceived themselves into thinking they would be fine, even while doing that which would bring judgment upon them.  Birds have enough sense to know winter is coming, and fly south to find shelter (v.7), but these people did not even have a bird brain.  The winter of wrath was upon them, but they had no inclination to flee to God for refuge.

False teachers gave them a placebo of peace to calm any anxiety that arose (Jer.8:8-12).  Those soothing sermons were mere snake oil, offering no cure.  The people were told by their spiritual leaders what they wanted to hear, rather than what they needed to hear, thus, insuring the disease would bring their demise.  As a leaf turns brown in the fall, withers and is swept away by the winds of winter, so they would be swept away in judgment.  On their death bed, they would suddenly become alarmed—too late (Jer.8:13-17)

It broke Jeremiah’s heart (Jer.8:18-22; 9:1-26).  One physician remained to call out the quacks and prescribe a cure—the bitter medicine of repentance.  The people would have none of it.  Death would be the inevitable result.  The tears of the prophet would mingle with the tears of those who would be judged.

Parallels between ancient Judah and America today are apparent and alarming.  The symptoms of sin-sickness are increasing.  The pulpits that should be prescribing the cure, are tranquilizing the people instead.  Rather than being hospitals, the churches have become hospices.  How much longer do we have before death comes?  It did not have to be.  The choice is ours—repentance or retribution.  Every evidence is that we will persist in our course toward death as a drug addict keeps shooting up to feed his habit, all the while destroying his health.  Others die, but he or she thinks they will be the exception.  That is our mindset—and it is madness.

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