Is there no balm in
Is there no physician there?
Why then is there no recovery
For the health of the daughter of my people? (
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.
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 (
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 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. America