“The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved!” (Jeremiah 8:20)
Jeremiah is the lamenting prophet. He laments that he has been given a duty to speak to a people who would not listen to God’s words spoken by the prophet.
“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I commend you, that it may be well with you.’ Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but walked in their own counsels and in the stubbornness of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward. Since the day that your fathers came out of the land of Egypt until this day, I have sent you all My servants the prophets, daily rising early and sending them. Yet they did not listen to Me or incline their ear, but stiffened their neck; they did evil more than their fathers. And you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not listen to you; and you shall call to them, but they will not answer you.” (Jeremiah 7:23-27)
Time is rolling on. Markers of the seasons remind Jeremiah that the people given to his charge will not take the medicine offered by the physician and be saved from their perilous consequences of unbelief.
“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?” (Jeremiah 8:22)
Time is the witness of our perils. It reminds us that we have not kept promises or performed duties when a new time marker arrives. It reminds us that we are being moved to some end. That end is death, physical and eternal death.
“Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.”
Our God our Help in Ages Past
Summer is now over. It is a time marker. The falling leaves remind us that a new season is upon us. The year 2019 will soon be gone.
“Year 2019 is past, and I am not saved.”
Will this be your declaration for a new year? It is surely coming in just a few weeks.
God stepped into time to remedy this. In the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4) God satisfied His own wrath in sending His son, Christ Jesus, as a surety to man, to keep the law and the covenant with man perfectly. He died to pay the penalty for sinners who place their trust in Him and His merits.
If a cure for a malady is given by a physician and the patient refuses to take it (much like Israel of Jeremiah’s day), his epithet should read “He died because he refused to take the medicine.”
Christ Jesus is offered freely to sinners today, even as in Jeremiah’s time. The answer to Jeremiah’s rhetorical question – Is there no balm in Gilead? – is “Yes”, there is a balm and a Physician in Gilead. Jesus Christ is His name.
Lean upon Him by faith, so that it won’t be said by you …
“Another year is past and I am not saved.”
The pains and torments of hell are eternal.
Take the medicine, my friend, and be saved from this peril. Don’t be stiff-necked like the Israelites in Jeremiah’s day.
There is no other name given among men than that of Christ Jesus as the perfect physician.
Note: The text and idea for this post was taken from C. H. Spurgeon’s “Morning and Evening” Devotional, named after Israel’s Old Covenant morning and evening sacrifices which pointed to Christ (Colossians 2:17). The exposition of the text was revised to reflect my own thoughts.
Terry Miller, Ruling Elder
Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Bartlesville, OK