Summary: God’s jealousy of other gods.
Is There A Cure For Our Land
by Rev. Thomas Benge
Text Jeremiah 8: 19-22 (use Parallel)
Living in this day and age, we are aware of the condition of the entire world due to modern day technology and the tenacity of the news media. More than a few times, I’ve heard it said the media only reports bad news. And that assessment is more true than not. War, conflict, plague, and natural disasters seems to happen somewhere everyday, Murder, cruelty, political corruption, societal decay, the woes of the world never seem to cease.
The genre of television programming known loosely as talk shows, parade daily the worst of human nature, and every kind of deviate doctrine. I tell you, it’s enough to depress the most enthusiastic of us, just as Jeremiah was depressed when he penned our scripture lesson for today. The icons of society are falling. Those whom we have made idols, now more than ever are being exposed to have clay feet. Institutions that we have depended on for decades are now insolvent. Social Security, public welfare, political parties, the military, and educational institutions are all failing us. The last verse of today’s text, verse 22 raises a cry that has echoed through the 200 centuries, and is louder and more desperate than it has ever been. It is for this reason I’d like to trouble you for the next few moments with the question and subject: "Is there a cure for our land?"
First Movement - The Diagnosis
Our land is sick. The people are sick. The spirit of our country is weak. We need a cure. If a cure is needed, if a prescription is to be filled, the illness must first be identified.
The 1st Chapter and 19th verse of Ecclesiastes says; “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
That being true, and the word of God always available to give us guidance, we should look for a Biblical model to give us some clue as to what’s wrong with our land, our people, and our country. Let’s look at the Hebrew nation of Judah, and listen to the prophet God appointed to diagnose the condition of their society, to identify the problems of our own.
The first things to consider, is why would God commission a prophet of doom? Why would He send such a messenger, crying of abandonment, jealousy and retribution?
The reason is simple. God was hurt. I know that sounds incredible, but not so when you remember that God is the God of love. God loves us. He always has, he always will. He made us. He provides everything we need to continue our existence. He has revealed Himself to us through the mysteries of nature, and the reality of our conscience.
The Psalmist has said: 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork”. Psalms 97:6 “The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.”
Judah and Israel, knowing that God was sovereign in the universe, heirs of the promise He made to Abraham, went whoring after the gods of the people God defeated for their sake. God lamented to His prophet: For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.
Then He says to the people: “As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed; they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets, Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone. Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble, they will say, Arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the numbers of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.”
God was hurt. God was disappointed. He still is. Even so, God continues to bless us. The Godly and the Ungodly are the beneficiaries of His love and grace. Each day the sun rises, the fields yield heir increase. Each day is another opportunity to repent. He calls to us constantly to come to Him and receive the peace and love He has to offer. But ye are a stiff-necked people, puffed up by our foolish perceptions. We worship creations rather than the creator.