Superficial Treatments

11 09 2009
Scripture

Observations/Paraphrase

Application

Jeremiah 8 September 11, 2009
1 “In that day,” says the Lord , “the enemy will break open the graves of the kings and officials of Judah, and the graves of the priests, prophets, and common people of Jerusalem.2 They will spread out their bones on the ground before the sun, moon, and stars—the gods my people have loved, served, and worshiped. Their bones will not be gathered up again or buried but will be scattered on the ground like manure.3 And the people of this evil nation who survive will wish to die rather than live where I will send them. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!


Deception by False Prophets

4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, `This is what the Lord says:


“`When people fall down, don’t they get up again?

When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?

5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?

Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?

They cling tightly to their lies

and will not turn around.

6 I listen to their conversations

and don’t hear a word of truth.

Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?

Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?

No! All are running down the path of sin

as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!

7 Even the stork that flies across the sky

knows the time of her migration,

as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.s

They all return at the proper time each year.

But not my people!

They do not know the Lord ‘s laws.


8 “`How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the Lord ,”

when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies?

9 These wise teachers will fall

into the trap of their own foolishness,

for they have rejected the word of the Lord .

Are they so wise after all?

10 I will give their wives to others

and their farms to strangers.

From the least to the greatest,

their lives are ruled by greed.

Yes, even my prophets and priests are like that.

They are all frauds.

11 They offer superficial treatments

for my people’s mortal wound.

They give assurances of peace

when there is no peace.

12 Are they ashamed of these disgusting actions?

Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush!

Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered.

They will be brought down when I punish them,

says the Lord .

13 I will surely consume them.

There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.

Their fruit trees will all die.

Whatever I gave them will soon be gone.

I, the Lord , have spoken!’


14 “Then the people will say,

`Why should we wait here to die?

Come, let’s go to the fortified towns and die there.

For the Lord our God has decreed our destruction

and has given us a cup of poison to drink

because we sinned against the Lord .

15 We hoped for peace, but no peace came.

We hoped for a time of healing, but found only terror.’


16 “The snorting of the enemies’ warhorses can be heard

all the way from the land of Dan in the north!

The neighing of their stallions makes the whole land tremble.

They are coming to devour the land and everything in it—

cities and people alike.

17 I will send these enemy troops among you

like poisonous snakes you cannot charm.

They will bite you, and you will die.

I, the Lord, have spoken!”


Jeremiah Weeps for Sinful Judah

18 My grief is beyond healing;

my heart is broken.

19 Listen to the weeping of my people;

it can be heard all across the land.

“Has the Lord abandoned Jerusalem?s” the people ask.

“Is her King no longer there?”


“Oh, why have they provoked my anger with their carved idols

and their worthless foreign gods?” says the Lord .


20 “The harvest is finished,

and the summer is gone,” the people cry,

“yet we are not saved!”


21 I hurt with the hurt of my people.

I mourn and am overcome with grief.

22 Is there no medicine in Gilead?

Is there no physician there?

Why is there no healing

for the wounds of my people?





Jeremiah speaks of their graves being desecrated by their enemies.  Those that survive will wish to die, rather than to go where God is sending them.











God says, “When they fall down, don’t they get up again?  When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?  Then why won’t these people turn from their self-destructive path?  Why do they refuse to turn back and cling tightly to their lies?”








God says that He listens to their conversations but doesn’t hear a word of truth.  Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?  Does anyone say what a terrible thing they have done?  No.  All are running down the path of sin – as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!


Even the migrating birds know when it is time to come home.  But not God’s people.  They do not know God’s laws.






They say, “We are wise because we have the word of the Lord. – but your teachers have twisted it by writing lies.  These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness – for they have rejected the word of the Lord.


Are they really so wise after all?


God will give their property to strangers, their lives are ruled by greed.


Yes, even the prophets and priests are like that – they are all frauds.


They offer superficial treatments for my people’s moral wound.  They offer assurances of peace, when there is no peace.


Are they ashamed?  Not at all.  They don’t even know how to blush.































“The harvest is finished,  and the summer is gone,” the people cry,  “yet we are not saved!”


Jeremiah weeps.  His heart is broken.  He says:


I hurt with the hurt of my people.   I mourn and am overcome with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead?  Is there no physician there?  Why is there no healing  for the wounds of my people?”

I have been resisting/avoiding my continued reading in Jeremiah.  It’s just too heavy, to sad, and too overwhelming.  The scenes are just too similar to our current situations.










As I’ve gone through the paths I’ve been walking lately, I somehow expected the logic of the situations to spring forth and the attacks on me would stop.  But they didn’t, and they haven’t.  Jeremiah and God faced this – the people just continue to cling to the lies.


Spiritual blinders.  The more God cried out through Jeremiah, the more the people refused to listen.  Does this say something about their true heart?




God isn’t hearing truth spoken.


Normally, when I have an encounter with God, a couple of things happen.


  • First, I see the beauty of God and I want to draw close to Him.
  • Next, I see my own inadequacy, and I am ashamed.
  • Third, I am enveloped by God’s grace, and I am broken.
  • His love then steps into my life to raise me from that brokenness.
  • Finally, I am left with a great evangelistic zeal – I want everyone to experience what I’ve experienced?

But God’s people say they are wise, but they only twist the words and fall into traps of their own doing.

Are we really wise?

Even the leaders are this way – they offer superficial treatments for mortal wounds.  But are they ashamed?  Not at all.

They don’t even know how to blush!

Prayer


Father God.  These are hard passages and they make me concerned about my family.  Teach me how to care for your entire family.


G

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