Who grieves the most, with hearts breaking, when our children are in trouble with seemingly no way out? As parents, we are given the task to raise, love and nourish the children God has given to us in His ways. We are to show them how to live by our example. We are charged with providing wisdom and discipline of life skills so they can someday thrive and continue to grow and mature by God’s leading. We pray for this wisdom and guidance from God who is eager to give it when we ask. But when our kids say no to all that is God, we grieve. When they are in trouble, our hearts break. We want to step in and fix it but we cannot. There are some things we cannot make better. Only God can.
Most of God’s people, including priests and other influencers, have turned their backs on God. They are living delusional lives of selfishness, greed, unholy desires with perverted behaviors. Jeremiah shares the heart of God for His people who He loves.
When the time comes for punishment for who they are their behaviors are recalled, truth is out and the realization of their sins revealed. And God? God is heartbroken.
But God is not like we parents who feel helpless for our children in troubles beyond us. God has a Plan. That Plan is Jesus, His Son. When the time comes for Jesus, God and Word in the flesh, to be born of a virgin, to grow up in the neighborhood of humanity He came to save, God is there to fulfil His Plan through Jesus, His Son. This Plan for you and I was created and driven by God’s great love for the world.
Jeremiah 8, The Message
1-2 “And when the time comes”—God’s Decree!—“I’ll see to it that they dig up the bones of the kings of Judah, the bones of the princes and priests and prophets, and yes, even the bones of the common people. They’ll dig them up and spread them out like a congregation at worship before sun, moon, and stars, all those sky gods they’ve been so infatuated with all these years, following their ‘lucky stars’ in doglike devotion. The bones will be left scattered and exposed, to reenter the soil as fertilizer, like manure.
3 “Everyone left—all from this evil generation unlucky enough to still be alive in whatever godforsaken place I will have driven them to—will wish they were dead.” Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
To Know Everything but God’s Word
4-7 “Tell them this, God’s Message:
“‘Do people fall down and not get up?
Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?
So why does this people go backward,
and just keep on going—backward!
They stubbornly hold on to their illusions,
refuse to change direction.
I listened carefully
but heard not so much as a whisper.
No one expressed one word of regret.
Not a single “I’m sorry” did I hear.
They just kept at it, blindly and stupidly
banging their heads against a brick wall.
Cranes know when it’s time
to move south for winter.
And robins, warblers, and bluebirds
know when it’s time to come back again.
But my people? My people know nothing,
not the first thing of God and his rule.
8-9 “‘How can you say, “We know the score.
We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?
Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.
Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!
Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
caught and shown up for what they are.
Look at them! They know everything but God’s Word.
Do you call that “knowing”?
10-12 “‘So here’s what will happen to the know-it-alls:
I’ll make them wifeless and homeless.
Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar,
little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between
twist words and doctor truth.
My dear Daughter—my people—broken, shattered,
and yet they put on Band-Aids,
Saying, “It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.”
But things are not “just fine”!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
over this outrage?
Not really. They have no shame.
They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
they’re finished.’” God has spoken.
* * *
13 “‘I went out to see if I could salvage anything’”
“‘but found nothing:
Not a grape, not a fig,
just a few withered leaves.
I’m taking back
everything I gave them.’”
14-16 So why are we sitting here, doing nothing?
Let’s get organized.
Let’s go to the big city
and at least die fighting.
We’ve gotten God’s ultimatum:
We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t—
damned because of our sin against him.
We hoped things would turn out for the best,
but it didn’t happen that way.
We were waiting around for healing—
and terror showed up!
From Dan at the northern borders
we hear the hooves of horses,
Horses galloping, horses neighing.
The ground shudders and quakes.
They’re going to swallow up the whole country.
Towns and people alike—fodder for war.
17 “‘What’s more, I’m dispatching
poisonous snakes among you,
Snakes that can’t be charmed,
snakes that will bite you and kill you.’”
Advancing from One Evil to the Next
18-22 I drown in grief.
Oh, listen! Please listen! It’s the cry of my dear people
reverberating through the country.
Is God no longer in Zion?
Has the King gone away?
Can you tell me why they flaunt their plaything-gods,
their silly, imported no-gods before me?
The crops are in, the summer is over,
but for us nothing’s changed.
We’re still waiting to be rescued.
For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken.
I weep, seized by grief.
Are there no healing ointments in Gilead?
Isn’t there a doctor in the house?
So why can’t something be done
to heal and save my dear, dear people?
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
I’m reminded of “when the time came” for Jesus to show his disciples “the full extent of His love” before going to the cross for our sins—God’s Plan. Jesus took off His robe as Teacher and laid it aside. He wrapped a towel around his waist. He went by the door and pour water into a basin. He then bent down with basin and towel to wash and dry His disciples’ dirty feet—all of them—including his betrayer’s feet. Jesus came to serve, not to be serve. Jesus, Messiah, Son of God, was sent to seek and to save the lost people who had all but forgotten who God was and is and is to come. (See John 13)
Jesus, Son of God, had the heart of God. Jesus’ heart was broken and spilled out for mankind. Jesus, our great example of how to live.
I ask myself this morning,
Did God’s broken heart for his people then derive His Plan to save the world someday?
Was the formation of His Plan designed to clearly show the full extent of His love for us?
Why then, when the time comes for us to accept His saving grace, do we say no?
Don’t say no. Believe in this love beyond our kind of love, repent of our messy sins, follow the King of kings with a plan for our lives that is greater than what we can dream or imagine and be saved from death to eternal life!
I repent of my sins and say yes to all you want for me to live a life worth living. I choose you over the know-it-alls whose sayings lead nowhere. I say yes to your plan for my life. I will follow you all the days of my life. You are my everything. There is no one like you, God. I trust in you alone, dear Jesus. Come Holy Spirit and guide me. I’m listening.
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen