Daily Bible Reading Devotional [Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 ]– August 29th, 2016

Scripture Reading(s)

Jeremiah 8:18-9:1

8:18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick.

8:19 Hark, the cry of my poor people from far and wide in the land: “Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?” (“Why have they provoked me to anger with their images, with their foreign idols?”)

8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

8:21 For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me.

8:22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?

9:1 O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!


Lydia.jpgThis is a cry of one who is mourning over the sin of an entire nation. The people of Israel had been given over to their sinful ways and as a result were about to face an impeding judgment. Jeremiah longs for there to be a solution to the rebellious nature of the Israelites but judgement is coming and it was a punishment that was well warranted.

Our God is not one who is harsh and cruel. However, He demands that we obey His commandments to do what is pleasing in His sight. That includes running from lust and pursuing purity, not stealing, committing murder, adultery, gossip, or hate. He longs for us to do and live as it says in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

There is a reason why our God asks us to think about what these verses say, it is because He loves us and wants the best in mind for us. It is because He knows that in pursuing sin, it will only lead to our own destruction. It will cause us to endure judgement and to miss out on God’s blessings in our lives.
Jeremiah is mourning over the sin that he is bearing witness to in the lives of the nation of Israel. Our God does not take delight in punishing us for our sin. It says in His word that He delights in “but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147:11.

We now live during a time in which we have the opportunity to give up our sin and follow after Christ. Let us always pursue righteous and holy living. Our God is longing to provide the very best for our lives. He longs to give us true meaning, hope and peace.

Justin-Holmes1.jpgJeremiah is called the weeping prophet. His people have been overtaken by the Babylonians. Jeremiah tells us the reason why God allowed His children to be overtaken.

And when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours. (Jeremiah 5:19)

God made a covenant with His people yet they refused to abide by the terms of the covenant. As Jeremiah watched His people dragged from their land and forced to serve in another land he wept for  his people. He interceded for them. 600 years before Jesus was born Jeremiah knew the need for a physician. He understood that God must send in a mediator.

Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored? (Jeremiah 8:22)

As Christians we see Jesus as the physician who restored more than just God’s own people but also the rest of the world. Like Israel and Judah we have all been unfaithful to God. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we have served our own desires and put our own will before the Lord’s. We have all fallen short.

Yet Jesus mediates for us. He gave His life for us so that we will not taste death, the punishment for our sin. Jesus has made us whole and we are credited as righteous through Him. May we never forget that God sent His son for us even though we had earned or deserved no such thing.

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