For the wound of the daughter of my people is my heart wounded; I mourn, and dismay has taken hold on me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of the daughter of my people not been restored?
It is staggering to consider the legacy that will be left to our children if our Western nations continue along their paths of immorality and irresponsibility. There will be crippling economic debt; the moral landscape of our nations will be bleak. The reverberations of the sins of our day will be felt for generations to come if the Lord tarries. But have we considered what spiritual legacy we will leave our children if the church continues to be influenced and even lead in the sins of society and the culture? Have you ever considered what the church will look like if the current social and political conditions are prolonged? What will it take for the church to be revived and reformed in order to bring Spirit-worked change? The answer from our text is this: “when the church becomes convicted of God’s displeasure and repents of her complicity and toleration of the sins of our society.”
The prophet Jeremiah brings this same message to the Israelites. He is a prophet to the nations, but he is called first of all to address the people of God, those in special covenant relationship with God. He addresses the [people of God] in the Old Testament and his message is strikingly contemporary for the church today as well. If he addressed the people of God first, surely we ought to begin there ahead of the coming elections. America’s greatest hope for change is not in the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, state legislatures, courts, or city councils. America’s best hope for change is in Christians who weep for the state of the church, begin to pray for her revival, and intercede for her in her backsliding. This is what we learn from the prophet Jeremiah as he weeps over the state of God’s people and as he sees the judgment of God in the future. He laments in Jeremiah 8:21, “For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold of me.” He is broken; black is symbolic of the state of mourning and he is astonished or appalled at what he sees among the people of God and in the future in terms of looming judgment.
The Gospel Trumpet, 20-21.