Jeremiah 8 Commentary
Verse 2 hints at Israel’s pagan practices. They have consulted and worshipped the sun, the moon, and the stars. Israel has broken commandment number 1 and there are consequences.
But breaking the law isn’t Israel’s biggest problem. It is Israel’s failure to realize her mistake and return to the worship of the Creator God, the LORD God Almighty. And so the LORD wonders: “Why then, my people, do you turn away from me without ever turning back?”
The LORD calls it stupidity – the kind that doesn’t exist even among animals. For the stork knows when to return. The LORD is appalled by this lack of wisdom. The prophet sits in sadness.
Within each man is an ability to realize one’s failings and return to the Creator God. A decision to return to the LORD isn’t an impossibility. It is within what every human being can do. It is an expectation.
It hasn’t happened for Israel; so destruction it is, for Jerusalem. The prophet is sad; sick at heart. Is there no medicine in Gilead, for Israel’s terrible condition? Are there no doctors there?
The chapter ends with these questions. The reader ponders and asks the same questions: what is the solution to man’s problems?
If turning away from the LORD is the problem – and we agree, then man simply returns or comes back to the Creator God and everything normalizes. It should be this simple! It is never complicated.
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