Jeremiah 7:18-19

Jeremiah 7:18-19

Jeremiah 7:18-19 ESV
18 My joy is gone; grief is upon me; my heart is sick within me.
19 Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land:
“Is the Lord not in Zion? Is her King not in her?”
“Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?”

Jeremiah 7:18-19 NRSV
18 My joy is gone, grief is upon me, my heart is sick.
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?”)

The prophet Jeremiah’s depth of grief and sadness is truly manifest in verse eighteen. It is a result of the preceding fourteen verses labeled Sin and Treachery in the ESV and The Blind Perversity of the Whole Nation in the NRSV where God has Jeremiah list the sins and lies of Judah. In the last two verses it is clear God’s judgment is coming

16 “The snorting of their horses is heard from Dan; at the sound of the neighing of their stallions the whole land quakes.
They come and devour the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it.
17 For behold, I am sending among you serpents, adders that cannot be charmed, and they shall bite you,”
declares the Lord.

So it is no wonder the prophet who loves his land and people in spite of their sin becomes joyless, filled with grief, and heartsick. Thus there is no comfort for him. For many of us today it is the same as we see our nation full of rebellion against God and deeply involved in promoting sin. We become heartsick when we consider and ponder the likely judgment coming to our land and our people. To know that we and others who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, while comforting, does little to alleviate the pain of what we know of God’s probable wrath for our country in the future.

Still, as Christians it is our duty to recall

The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Galatians 5:6b

So we pray for our country and our people, asking God for His mercy and for Him to touch so many hearts before death and/or judgment comes. For like Paul who said

14 I am obligated both to Greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and the foolish. Romans 1

we are also obligated both to the wise and foolish as well as to all of those who do not believe the Good News of Jesus Christ. So we pray for them and reveal our faith to others in how we live our daily lives. Let your heart ache for them and let your mouth pray for them.

It’s Monday – have a Great Week. Spend time reflecting on the blessing of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior as well as praying for those who do not.