June 22, 2022 - Jeremiah 7-10

The people have mistreated the weakest among them, have loved gods that are not gods, and have committed all sorts of atrocities. It’s no wonder that Jeremiah struggled so to preach to such a people. Jeremiah declared, “For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” (8:21-22). Furthermore, Jeremiah cried, “Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!” (9:1) Is there no hope? Is there no good news to be given? Is there no cure?

Of course, there is good news! Of course, there is hope! Of course, there is a cure! But, then, we know the end of the story, don’t we? And Jeremiah knew that the one who turns in faith to the Lord will be saved even if all around him are those who are perishing: “Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth” (9:24).

There is a balm in Gilead

to make the wounded whole,

there is a balm in Gilead

to heal the sin-sick soul.

Sometimes I feel discouraged

and think my work’s in vain,

but then the Holy Spirit

revives my soul again. –African-American spiritual

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